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
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
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
percent reported no change, according to the survey by the Fur
Council of America. The results were reported in an industry-wide
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
$1.21 billion in retail fur sales came from "services," which includes
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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