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

Charleston, SC-- September 1, 2000 - --- The Furniture Buying Index dropped another 3 points, to a reading of 80 this month. This signifies the second consecutive month a 3 point drop was recorded and the third month with a drop in the Index.

"This is not the direction retailers like to have with Labor Day weekend upon us,"said Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group.

"Consumers have zipped up their pocketbooks and put them away for furniture purchases,"he said.

"They may be shopping this Labor Day weekend, but furniture retailers need to be much more aggressive if they want sales."

"The Index needs to rebound in order for furniture stores to have a strong fall selling season, although, 80 points is not a bad reading considering figures in the 70's in previous years,"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 or P. Michael Kelly

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