--Fears about uncertain future drives index down four points--

Charleston, SC March 1, 2003 The Furniture Buying Index is down by four points this month. This drop is the biggest drop the index has taken in the past year, and fears about an uncertain future appear to drive the downward turn.

Britt Beemer, Chairman of Americas Research Group, explained, the reason for the drop is consumer fears about the upcoming war and related issues such as terrorist attacks have made a few more Americans delay furniture buying. Mr. Beemer continued, I was frankly pleased to see the Index hold up, and for us to experience this minor drop in interest in furniture could have been much worse. But, most Americans feel the upcoming conflict will only last a week or two, therefore their fears are not that severe.

Beemer added, it will be important to note how the Index responds once the conflict is over because I am certain a rebound will take place after Iraq surrenders and Saddam Hussein is out of power.

The Furniture Buying Index is compiled each month by America's Research Group from interviews with 5,000-8,000 consumers across the country. In a typical month, 80 percent of the consumers interviewed can name a specific furniture item they intend to buy. The Index's mark signifies what percent of the benchmark 80% actually have a particular item in mind.

Britt Beemer is chairman of America's Research Group, a full-service consumer behavior research company based in Charleston, SC. ARG provides research and strategic planning services to leading manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods across North America.

For more information call:
C. Britt Beemer

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