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    Charleston, SC, Sept 17, 2009.... American consumers overwhelmingly (81.0%) say they are pressured by family debts forcing many to shop less and spend less, according to the findings of the latest Consumer Mind Reader(tm) survey released today by America's Research Group (ARG) and UBS.

    "The data foretells a very scary Christmas shopping season with consumers radically cutting back at a time when retailers need shoppers to shore up sagging retail sales," says consumer trend expert C. Britt Beemer, CEO and Founder of ARG.

    "I am fearful Christmas will be a retail train-wreck this year," Beemer adds.

    Over three quarters of all families (75.5%) are trying to cut back on how much they are spending. The average amount that American consumers are cutting out of their monthly spending is $191.11, the highest figure ever recorded for spending cuts in 13 years of ARG Consumer Mind Reader(tm) surveys.

    Of these consumers cutting back, 60.1% have now accepted a lower spending level, even when the economic situation improves and they could afford to spend more. The long-term nature of this consumer-spending phenomenon pushes back any date now predicted for an economic recovery, according to Beemer.

    Over fifty percent (53.0%) of Americans say they are shopping less, and of these, 67.4% are going to stores with lower prices, while 32.6% are staying with their current stores, but waiting for bigger and bigger sales.

    As a result of the new consumer behavior, only 35.2% of consumers shopped at an enclosed mall anytime during the month of August. Moreover, 28.8% shopped at Wal-Mart to buy what they previously shopped for in malls across the country.

    The ARG/UBS Consumer Mind Reader Survey consisted of 1,001 telephone interviews conducted Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Sept. 7 - 10, 2009, at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.8%.

    America's Research Group, one of the nation's foremost consumer research and strategic marketing firms, marks its 30th anniversary in 2009. CEO Britt Beemer is a key resource and advisor to leading brands and top retailers. He is author of The Customer Rules, a new book published by McGraw-Hill.

    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.

    Contacts: Britt Beemer, Tel: 843 345 0939
    Barbara Burns / Eve Edwards, Tel: 212 486 1140 / 516 859 3402