--Small drop suggests a strong retail rebound--

Charleston, SC April 1, 2003 – The Furniture Buying Index is down by two more points this month. This small drop has high hopes for a strong retail rebound upon the end of the conflict with Iraq.

Britt Beemer, Chairman of America’s Research Group, said, “considering the fact that America is at war, a small drop in the Furniture Buying Index of two points suggests that a strong retail rebound should take place upon the end of hostilities with Iraq.” Beemer further explained that, “I am very encouraged by the fact that when the war first began the Index dropped seven points, but has moved upward to be being just two points down by months end.”

Beemer added, “auto sales may be a disaster this year, but furniture sales should be strong after the war ends.”

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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