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A caution flag for retailers.

Consumer debt is catching up with consumers. With consumer indebtness on the rise and expected to reach 20 percent of disposable income in 1997, retailers aren't the only ones filing for Chapter 7. Last year, 1.2 million consumers filed for bankruptcy, up 27.2 percent over 1995. This year, personal bankruptcy filings are expected to reach 1.5 million, climbing 29.1 percent.

And with big ticket items like refrigerators, dishwashers and personal com- puters heavily bought on credit, retailers of consumer electronics/appliances will be both optimistic and cautious in an industry that should generate sales of $114.5 billion in 1997, Tactical Retail Monitor forecasts.
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Title Annotation:consumer debt threatens home furnishings retailers
Author:Lagnado, Ike
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 9, 1997
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