--Furniture buying sharply drops following terrorist attack on America--

Charleston, SC October 3, 2001 - --- The Furniture Buying Index fell from 67 to a reading of 45 immediately after the World Trade Center attack. By the weekend of September 22nd the Furniture Buying Index regained 10 points and was only 12 points down. As of the end of the month the index had only dropped by 6 points leaving the Furniture Buying Index at 61 for the end of September.

Britt Beemer, founder and retail research director for America’s Research Group said “the 22 point drop in September was the worse drop ever recorded in the history of the Furniture Buying Index, compared only to the 15 point drop in February of 1993 after President Clinton announced his tax increase.”

“It is pleasing to see American furniture shoppers would not be kept down for long and had recovered two-thirds of its lost ground by the end of the month,” said Beemer. “There is evidence to support the fact that furniture could end up to be a big winner after the attack as consumers are staying home and not vacationing. They may freshen up their living area, forcing higher sales in upholstery and furniture pieces going into the TV viewing room.”

Mr. Beemer concludes, “the Furniture Buying Index was moving into more positive territory as September ended and we may see the light at the end of the tunnel as consumer’s interest in buying furniture has increased so dramatically in the last ten days.”

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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