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    Teen apparel stores enjoyed huge jumps in both the number of shoppers they saw in their stores and average purchases as America’s teenagers cashed in their Christmas gift cards for new clothes.

    Dollar stores also continued strong and furniture stores saw a much-needed boost in end-of-winter shopping according to the latest America’s Research Group/UBS Consumer Mind Reader survey.

    Many teens received their first gift cards for Christmas, and they were anxious to use them on new spring apparel in specialty teen clothing stores. Shopping volume in teen apparel stores jumped from 10.7 percent of the overall shopping population in March of 2010 to 15.0 percent in the latest survey. At the same time average shopping levels nearly doubled from $12.62 in 2010 to $24.51 this year. While many other retailers saw Christmas sales fade in January and February, pre-holiday shopping continued in full force for teen apparel stores.

    Christmas also spilled over into the first two months of 2011 for dollar stores as Americans continued to seek ways to cut back on spending. Nearly a third of all shoppers (31.1 percent) made purchases in dollar stores during January and February, a drop of only two percent from November/December sales.

    Furniture retailers saw a much needed comeback begin in January and February, with average spending levels almost doubling from $15.79 in the spring of 2010 to $31.15 this year. Furniture sales had been in decline much of the last two years as Americans tightened their belt to deal with the recession. Pent up demand finally surfaced for some shoppers as they bought home furnishings products they needed to spruce up the house for spring.

    Despite the success enjoyed by these retail sectors, many other categories continued to languish in poor retail sales. Major department stores were especially hard hit, experiencing plummeting sales as well as fewer shoppers visiting their stores. Other hard hit retail categories during January and February included book stores, factory outlets and outlet malls.

    Spring will continue to be a challenging time for all retailers, as many consumers still wait for the recession to end in their area.

    The America’s Research Group/UBS Consumer Mind Reader survey consisted of 1,000 interviews conducted March 8-15, 2011 at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.8%.

    • Teen Apparel Stores
    • Dollar Stores
    • Furniture Stores

    • National Department Stores
    • Book Stores
    • Factory Outlets/Outlet Malls

    America’s Research Group, is the country’s leading authority on retail buying habits of consumers. ARG tracks consumer buying habits more than any other survey research firm in the nation. The company conducts customized surveys for retail and manufacturing clients across the United States, designed to provide clients valuable marketing recommendations to grow their businesses. Beemer is author of two best-selling business books, Predatory Marketing and It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit. His third business book, entitled The Customer Rules, is available at bookstores nationwide. More detailed information is available on the America’s Research Group website at www.americasresearchgroup.com. UBS Global Equity Research provides the broad global perspective and in-depth analysis that institutional investors need to make good investment decisions. With more than 600 analysts, associates, strategists and economists in EMEA, APAC and the Americas, UBS covers approximately 85% of the world market capitalization - over 3,300 companies worldwide across 46 different markets. In addition to UBS's disciplined fundamental research, clients also rely on UBS for corporate and expert access to give them the insight they need, when they need it.