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Low Prices And High Quality Are Major Considerations When Consumers Select Where To Purchase Their Furniture

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Vertis, the premier provider of targeted advertising, media, and marketing services, today announced the results of its Customer Focus® 2004: Furniture study, which reveals that low prices and high quality are key factors that customers consider when they are deciding where to purchase their furniture. "Opportunity exists for furniture marketers catering to consumers who are driven by low prices and high quality,” says Thérèse Mulvey, vice president marketing research at Vertis. "Our study shows that both cost and quality are key considerations when shoppers are determining where they will go to buy their furniture. We are finding too that many consumers looking to buy high quality items comparison shop, visiting at least three stores prior to making purchases of $500 or more.” The Vertis Customer Focus® 2004: Furniture study shows the following additional findings, which provide insight into the differences in consumers’ furniture purchase plans and trends. Factors That Influence Where Customers Shop -28 percent of total adults surveyed indicated that lowest price was a key factor when deciding on where to purchase furniture, with 21percent reporting that high quality was a deciding factor (Figure A) -Of total adults planning to purchase bedroom furniture, 31 percent indicated that lowest price was a determinant with their last furniture purchase versus 23 percent who said high quality was a major factor -31 percent of adults who indicated that highest quality was most important reported that they visited three stores prior to making their last furniture purchase of $500 or more, four percent more than the average adult Media That Captures Furniture Consumers’ Attention -84 percent of Sunday newspaper readers who also plan to purchase living room furniture in the next 12 months said they have read Sunday's advertising insert or circulars in the past seven days (Figure B) -82 percent of Sunday newspaper readers who own their condominium, townhouse or house, and said they shopped at two furniture stores before making a purchase of $500 or more, read an ad insert in the Sunday paper in the last seven days -85 percent of total adults surveyed said they read advertising inserts and 69 percent indicated that they have read them in the past seven days. -Advertising inserts and circulars continue to be the medium that consumers turn to first when they are looking to make their purchase decisions. 30 percent of total adults surveyed indicated that inserts are their first preference, as opposed to 18 percent who said they turn to ads on the page of a newspaper, and 15 percent who indicated that they turn to the Internet Furniture Purchases in the Next 12 Months -23 percent of total adults surveyed said they plan on purchasing area rugs in the next 12 months, followed closely by bedding and floor coverings at 22 percent (Figure C) -Of those surveyed, 17 percent indicated that they will be purchasing bedroom furniture and 16 percent said they will purchase living room furniture over the next year -Additionally, 30 percent of furniture shoppers surveyed reported that one to six months elapses between major bedroom furniture purchases of $500 or more; 10 percent more than the average adult (Figure D) -26 percent of total adults surveyed said they wait 37 or more months between furniture purchases of $500 or more as compared to 17 percent of bedroom furniture purchasers Know Your Customer -53 percent of adults planning to purchase furniture are women, compared to 47 percent men (Figure E) -27 percent of Generation Y (1977-1994) adults and 33 percent of Generation X (1965-1976) adults surveyed indicated that they will purchase bedroom furniture in the next 12 months -Conversely, only 11 percent of older Baby Boomers (1946-1955) reported that they will purchase bedroom furniture -52 percent of Generation Y renters plan to purchase living room or bedroom furniture, compared to 36 percent of total renters About Customer Focus®: Customer Focus® is Vertis’ proprietary annual study tracking consumer behavior across a wide variety of industry segments — home improvement, furniture, grocery, sporting goods, home electronics, optical, insurance, office supplies, and discount stores — and media including advertising inserts, direct marketing, and the Internet. The survey was first conducted in 1998 and, in subsequent years, has been expanded and modified to identify emerging consumer behavior patterns and track shifts in consumer practices and motivations. Since its inception, Customer Focus® has proven to be one of the nation’s most comprehensive examinations of consumer behavior. The survey of 2,000 adults — conducted by one of the nation’s leading field research companies in April/May 2003 — measures both general and industry-specific shopping trends, and Vertis provides the significant data as a value-added service to its clients. To acquire a customized Customer Focus® 2004: Furniture study or speak to a Vertis executive, please contact Michelle Metter or Donovan Roche at (619) 234-0345. About Vertis: Vertis is the premier provider of targeted advertising, media, and marketing services that drive consumers to marketers more effectively. Its comprehensive products and services range from consumer research, audience targeting, creative services, and workflow management to targeted advertising inserts, direct mail, interactive marketing, packaging solutions, and digital one-to-one marketing and fulfillment. Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., with facilities throughout the U.S. and the U.K., Vertis combines best-in-class technology, creative resources, and innovative production to serve the targeted marketing needs of companies worldwide. To learn more about Vertis, visit www.vertisinc.com.