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    Charleston, SC April 1, 2009 – The Furniture Buying Index remained unchanged this month at a reading of 56. Although an increase would have been more favorable, at this point holding steady seems to be encouraging for furniture retailers.

    Britt Beemer, Chairman of America's Research Group, said, "Consumers are still cautious about spending money on big ticket items, and this did not really change in the last month."

    "This is somewhat positive for the furniture industry since at least the Index did not go down any more considering all the other issues out there," Beemer commented. "Retailers need to fight hard to close consumers who are looking for bigger and bigger deals," 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.