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    Increased use of character-marks, or naturally occurring features of wood such as knots, in wood household furniture has received attention recently as a means for U.S. furniture manufacturers to make more efficient use of forest resources. However, little information exists concerning furniture retailers' perceptions of character-marked wood. Propositions that predicted retailer response to character-marked furniture based on categorization theory were developed and tested using oak furniture samples. Conjoint analysis indicated that the preference structure for character-marks was monotonic and negative in relation to increasing character-mark size, based on product evaluations involving buying consideration. The presence of character-marks was found to be somewhat important to product evaluations. The results suggest that although retailers evaluated products congruent with (or similar to) existing market conditions most favorably, opportunities exist for use of small or subtle character-marks in wood household furniture.

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    Bumgardner, M.S.; Bush, R.J.; West, C.D. 2001. Knots as an incongruent product feature: a demonstration of the potential for character-marked hardwood furniture. Journal of the Institute of Wood Science. 15(6): 327-336.

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