--Consumers’ slightly more concerned about making major purchases at this time--

Charleston, SC August 1, 2002 ---–The Furniture Buying Index dropped two points this month to a reading of 81. This drop negates the one point increases the Index has experienced for the past two months, bringing it back even with May’s level.

Britt Beemer, Chairman of America’s Research Group, stated, “more and more consumers are fearful of the so-called double-dipped recession and the impact that it will have on family spending levels.”

“While most American’s are not fearful for their jobs, they are concerned about no salary increases for the coming year which can mean belt-tightening for those experiencing inflation.” Beemer added, “While I hate to see any drop in the Furniture Buying Index, this slight adjustment was expected based upon the negative business news being reported in the last two months.”

“This should still allow furniture retailers to have a great Labor Day weekend,” 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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