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    Charleston, SC May 1, 2008 – The Furniture Buying Index is down another point this month to a reading of 61. The last time the index was at 61 was October, 2001. br>
    Britt Beemer, Chairman of America's Research Group, explained, "The Furniture Buying Index has not been helped by tax refunds or rebate checks, suggesting that most dollars are going to pay bills rather than for consumers to beautify their homes." Mr. Beemer continued, "Historically summer months have always been tough for retailers and they will remain increasingly difficult this year based upon rising gas prices as well as consumers not wanting to spend $500 or more."

    Beemer added, "Retailers should think about advertising more single items this summer where the price of that item will be under $500 and hopefully this will catch the attention of some shoppers in their local markets."

    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.