----Labor Day Weekend Home Furnishings Season ----

Charleston, SC-- August1, 2000 - --- TThe Furniture Buying Index dropped another 3 points, to a reading of 83 this month. This signifies the second month the drop was recorded.

"Labor Day Weekend sets off the home furnishings selling season, "said Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group. "This drop does not bode well for retailers going all out for Labor Day Weekend sales."

"Consumers have lost their focus in furniture buying, "he said. "They are at home enjoying their family more.quot;

"We are still above the 80 level on the Index, continuing to be strong sales, but a two month decline makes us wary," Mr. Beemer stated.

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 or P. Michael Kelly

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