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    Charleston, SC March 2, 2009 – The Furniture Buying Index fell three points this month to a reading of 56. This is not encouraging for furniture retailers.

    Britt Beemer, Chairman of America's Research Group, said, "Consumers are not thinking about spending money on big ticket items and furniture fits into this category with its large average ticket."

    "The furniture industry will see no positive movement from income tax checks this year since consumers are spending their refunds on bills and paying down debt rather than making major purchases" Beemer commented. "Those consumers who are buying want deals, big deals and even bigger deals which is tough on retailers' profits and margins," 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.