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    Consumers in the spring of 2010 are cautiously and selectively re-entering the retail marketplace, but they are focused on fulfilling household needs rather than buying products they would like to have but don’t necessarily need.

    The latest America’s Research Group/USB Consumer Mind Reader Survey found that discount retailers and membership warehouse clubs along with stores carrying hardware, home improvement and bed and bath products all rebounded strongly. At the same time, electronics, furniture and other major purchase retailers continued to lose ground.

    Consumers in April spent more than twice as much in hardware stores as they did last spring. Bed and bath retailers enjoyed the highest reported average purchases for April in more than 10 years. Discount stores and membership warehouse clubs also experienced significant gains in average purchases.

    Meanwhile shoppers postponed purchases of big screen televisions, computers and furniture. Consumers remain concerned about job security and are so far unwilling to run up new debt until the economy improves more than it has. Instead they are staying home and focusing on basic necessary purchases. The coming of spring after a severe winter drew them into the market for products to spruce up their homes and yards, but beyond meeting basic needs shoppers remain reluctant to engage in big spending.

    Retailers of big ticket items will be forced to wait until consumers see sustained economic growth before they can expect to improve their bottom lines.

    Hardware Stores
    Bed and Bath Stores
    Discount Stores
    Membership Warehouse Clubs

    Appliance/Electronics/Computer Stores
    Furniture Stores

    Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of America’s Research Group, is the country’s leading authority on retail buying habits of consumers. ARG tracks consumer buying habits more than any other survey research firm in the nation. The company conducts customized surveys for retail and manufacturing clients across the United States, designed to provide clients valuable marketing recommendations to grow their businesses. . Beemer is author of two best-selling business books, Predatory Marketing and It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit. His third business book, entitled The Customer Rules, is available at bookstores nationwide. More detailed information is available on the America’s Research Group website at www.americasresearchgroup.com. UBS Global Equity Research provides the broad global perspective and in-depth analysis that institutional investors need to make good investment decisions. With more than 600 analysts, associates, strategists and economists in EMEA, APAC and the Americas, UBS covers approximately 85% of the world market capitalization - over 3,300 companies worldwide across 46 different markets. In addition to UBS's disciplined fundamental research, clients also rely on UBS for corporate and expert access to give them the insight they need, when they need it.