For more information call:
C. Britt Beemer or
Chris L. Cooper
Furniture Shoppers Stay the Course for Christmas
--Index continues longest run of solid shopping plans --
December 1, 1999 - Consumers are continuing to include furniture
in their shopping plans as the Furniture Buying Index fell one point
to 84, but remained above the key 80 mark for a record ninth consecutive
"Although this is our fourth month to drop," Britt Beemer,
senior retail analyst and chairman of America's Research Group announced
today, "we continue to see furniture included in the buying
plans of many consumers, even in the Christmas season." "This
is especially good news as we head into the final sale season this
century, the '13th month,' that last week between Christmas day
and New Year's."
"After last month's sharp drop, I was expecting to see another
strong move down, but to fall just a point indicates that shoppers
aren't excluding home furnishings from their Christmas shopping
Citing a list of still-positive factors, including low unemployment,
high wages, high stock market values and increased household savings
over the past few years, Beemer said it wasn't hard to understand
why shoppers are still focused on spending when they see the price
points they want.
"Those retailers who jump into the season's battle, with
sharp promotions driven by four-color print advertising and TV campaigns
that feature a good selection of branded items, will definitely
see strong traffic in their stores," Mr. Beemer predicted.
The Furniture Buying Index is compiled each month by America's
Research Group from interviews with up to 5,000 consumers across
the country. Typically, 80 percent of the consumers interviewed
in a month can name a specific furniture piece they intend to buy.
The Index's mark reveals what percent of those consumers actually
have a particular item in mind. Britt Beemer is founder and chairman
of America's Research Group, a full-service consumer behavior research
With corporate offices located in scenic Charleston, SC, ARG serves
many leading consumer products manufacturers and retailers by providing
in-depth original research and strategic planning services. Britt,
often called a 'retail terrorist' for his aggressive strategies
to win customers from the competition, is the author of Predatory
Marketing, What Everyone Needs to Know to Win Today's Customer.
His second book, spotlighting emerging trends that will impact business
in the coming decade, will be published in the spring of the year
2000 by Simon & Schuster.
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