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    Published on 06 Sep 2006 7:00 PM
    1. Economic Development

    By Michael Stumpf

    Give HGTV some credit. They did not invent the home improvement show, but they have built it into an enormously popular entertainment venue, reaching 89 million households and capturing over 800,000 nightly prime time viewers. It has been called one of the most widely copied formats on the television landscape, giving rise to such shows as Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover on other channels.

    HGTV’s goal is “to provide ideas, information, and inspiration” for decorating and home improvement. And its viewers have been inspired. Between 1995 and 2005, sales of furniture have grown by 75%, outstripping the 67% rate of overall retail sales. Sales of home furnishings – items from carpets and linens to lamps and kitchenware – have grown by 97%. People are spending more time at home and spending more to decorate their homes. ...

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