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    Charleston, SC August 1, 2008 – The Furniture Buying Index is down another two points this month to a reading of 55. This continues the downward trend the Index has experienced throughout this year.

    Britt Beemer, Chairman of America's Research Group, said, "Even though gas prices are down slightly, this has not been enough to impact consumer spending for big ticket items." "The price of gas is still taking a toll on furniture shopping levels," he added.

    "This is not good news for furniture retailers since Labor Day weekend is historically a huge furniture weekend. Prices and promotions will have to be incredible to entice consumers to buy," Beemer 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.