Australia’s online sporting and physical recreation goods industry is expected to hit a huge $1.04 billion by 2018, thanks in large part to a changing retail landscape and an ageing population

A new IBISWorld report has forecasted that online stores selling goods such as bicycles, camping equipment, exercise and fitness tools (excluding apparel) will see revenue increase by an annualised 6.3% over the next five years. 

And one of the reasons for this expected rise in revenue is Australia’s ageing population, who are focusing more on health and fitness after retirement. 

IBISWorld industry analyst Naren Sivasailam says that Australians are becoming increasingly more aware of the importance of physical activity, which is creating an optimistic outlook for the industry’s future. 

The industry has benefitted from increased awareness of the link between obesity and lack of physical activity, which has made sports participation and exercise a priority for households and government alike. 

Changing demographics and increased leisure time availability have also boded well for sales of camping and outdoor equipment. 

The widening availability of internet access is also helping the industry with more consumers spending their dollars online.

The roll-out of the National Broadband Network will see even more regional areas connect to the internet at faster speeds, widening the potential consumer base. 

Jeremy Edwards, IBISWorld senior analyst, believes the market is ripe for opportunity at the moment and suggests that retailers ensure their websites are as user friendly as possible so not to exclude the older generation.

There’s obviously a huge opportunity for people who are selling any sort of retail goods online, with 20% growth per annum in online retail.

There’s room for new players and for bricks-and-mortar retailers to come online and make sure they’re offering a physical storefront as well as an online platform. 

Sivasailam also points to mobile commerce as being extremely beneficial to the industry as it allows retailers to reach a wider, more technology savvy audience. 

Currently the major player in the industry is Super Retail Group, who IBISWorld estimates to have 55% market share. Super Retail Group owns Rebel Sport, Ray’s Outdoors, BCF, Amart Allsports and Goldcross Cycles. 

[Image credit: Donald Lee Pardue]