2011 resolutions not great news for retailers

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: “I will get out of debt” ranked as the number one New Year’s resolution, predictably followed by eating better, losing weight and getting fit, in a recent survey by IbisWorld, an industry-based research provider.

This survey suggested that cautious consumer spending sparked by the financial crisis has seen a return to a savings rate of approximately 10 per cent, which “spells more bad news for both retailers and those issuing credit cards".

“Paying down personal debts will be a popular resolution this year, and as Australians get increasingly serious about tackling rogue debt run up on the plastic fantastic, credit card issuers will boost their revenue by just 0.9 per cent this financial year to $8.87 billion,” said IbisWorld general manager (Australia), Robert Bryant.

However the “I will lose weight and get fit” resolution could mark a major windfall for the weight loss industry, which is predicted to take in 14 per cent of its total $789.6 million of revenue for the year in January.

Maria Russo from Fitzone Solutions told Current.com.au that the fitness trend is a lucrative opportunity for appliance retailers currently suffering from close to inexistent margins from large ticketed items such as televisions.

Russo also pointed to a recent announcement by United States consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, to rollout health and fitness products at 600 Best Buy stores across the country and online at Bestbuy.com. According to a statement by Best Buy, the investment into the fitness industry reflects the evolution of connected fitness category and consumer demand for health and fitness products.

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