--Consumers are already interested in buying new furniture--

Charleston, SC April 1, 2002 ---–The Furniture Buying Index remains the same this month, holding at a reading of 78. This signifies that consumers are already interested in buying new furniture and signifies positive thoughts about the economy.

“The jump recently reported in the consumer confidence rating is not a surprise because we have been seeing consumer confidence growing steadily since November, 2001,” said Britt Beemer, Chairman of America’s Research Group. “This increase in the consumer confidence rating is a reflection of what the furniture industry has been telling us for some time,” stated Beemer.

“Consumers have reached a nice level of interest in buying furniture which bodes well for retailers in the coming summer months,” continued Beemer. “One year ago the furniture buying index was at 69, one point under the rating of 70 which is needed for the industry to do well. Right now with a rating of 78 going into the summer months, the furniture buying index reflects an optimistic, positive outlook for the furniture industry,” he concluded.

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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