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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
30 June 1999 Issue

Fur Sales Plunge, Furriers Report Major Sales Declines
Source: agriffith@igc.org

DALLAS - A national anti-fur organization has made public internal fur industry sales surveys which reveal U.S. fur sales plunged in 1998 and that nearly half of furriers surveyed reported sales declines averaging 20 percent despite claims by the industry that "fur is back."

According to an internal fur industry annual survey for 1998, retail fur sales in the U.S. dropped to about $1.21 billion, down 5 percent or more than a half million dollars from 1997 total of $1.27 billion.

Less than one-third of the stores reported sales gains. But 46 percent said they had sales declines averaging 20 percent from the year before, and 21 percent reported no change, according to the survey by the Fur Information Council of America. The results were reported in an industry-wide newsletter called "Sandy Parker Reports."

"This proves once again, that even by the fur industry's own estimates, fur is not back, and is not receiving favorable consideration by the American public," said John Paul Goodwin, executive director of the Dallas-based Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT).

Mr. Goodwin also said the survey estimated that actual garment sales were only about $860 million, versus about $890 million in 1997. The rest of the $1.21 billion in retail fur sales came from "services," which includes storage, cleaning, repairs and remodels.

Also significant, he said, was that just 84 stores were surveyed, down from 180 surveyed the year before.

"Since the fur industry apparently reduced the sampling size, we believe they could have eliminated stores from the survey that had even more dismal sales," said Mr. Goodwin.

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