One year on from panic buying, supermarkets are no longer all in it together

Analysts and shareholders have warned Coles could be losing material market share to Woolworths, with the incumbent pulling ahead thanks to its larger store network and more evolved online offering. However, behind the scenes, both could be losing ground to independents, which have quietly grown through the pandemic into a force to be reckoned with.


At Coles and Woolworths’ half-year results released this month, the difference could not have been more stark. Woolworths reported a bullish 7 per cent growth in sales for the start of the new year, twice the rate of Coles’ weaker 3.3 per cent rise.

But beyond the raw numbers, the companies’ respective chief executives shared vastly different views on the outlook for supermarkets. Coles’ Steven Cain was notably pessimistic in his outlook, pointing to macro factors such as weaker immigration growth and a reduction in stimulus as potential fires fuelling a decline in sales across the year.

Banducci, however, was far more sanguine. While the executive did warn a sales decline was in progress, to him it appeared “sensible” and “consistent”. “It’s not like it’s jumping off a cliff,” he said.

Ever-reticent to speak about the performance of his competitors, Banducci attributed Woolworths’ comfortable outperformance to a range of benefits, including the Woolies team having a bit more pep in their step coming in to the new year.

“Our team just got off to a good start in the second half. We got back to work really early,” the executive says. “Often we fall into a bit of a slump in the first two weeks of January, but we just didn’t this year.”

Woolworths’ CEO Brad Banducci says a fresh-faced team helped the company overcome its January ‘slump’.Credit:Rhett Wyman

“E-commerce has also continued to be pleasingly strong and has been very consistent for us, so there’s a number of factors coming together there.”

In the eyes of Jim Power, an analyst at $24 billion fund management giant Martin Currie, the strength of Woolworths’ online strategy is a far more important factor than its staff’s exuberance. Power oversees the fund’s sizeable investments in both Coles and Woolworths and says Banducci’s early start in e-commerce has helped the company claim and maintain market share.

“Online is one of the main battlegrounds, and Woolworths is ahead. They started early, they’ve done a good job, so Coles will look to close that gap,” he says.


Last year, Woolworths rolled out the first of four trial automated ‘micro fulfilment’ centres and also announced three of its New South Wales distribution centres would be replaced with two automated ones.

Coles has instead partnered with UK tech company Ocado to build two centralised automated fulfilment centres at the cost of $150 million. However, these won’t be completed until 2023.

Again, the difference between the two was laid bare in last week’s numbers. Woolworths’ online sales almost doubled to $1.8 billion, where Coles’ increased a more muted 48 per cent to $1 billion.

Power believes these new warehouses will play a key role in Coles’ ability to claw back market share from its main rival, though Woolworths will maintain a natural hedge as its store count (1052) is well above Coles’ (824).

“In the current environment, more stores is an advantage, just not an advantage anyone would have talked about pre-COVID,” he says. “The longer it takes for shopper habits to normalise, the longer things look better for Woolworths over Coles.”

Coles boss Steven Cain admitted the company had lost some market share during COVID.

Coles boss Steven Cain admitted the company had lost some market share during COVID.Credit:Louie Douvis

Coles boss Cain noted as much last week, admitting his company had been outshone due to an over-indexing of stores in shopping centre locations which were avoided by shoppers during the pandemic.

“People seem to have quite a short memory, as we were gaining market share going into COVID,” Cain says. “But each time there was a lockdown, people shopped locally, and because we’ve got fewer stores than our main competitors, they benefited more from that than we have.”

Jarden analyst Ben Gilbert agrees that online sales and a smaller store network are both key battlegrounds for Coles in its supermarket war. However, the seasoned market-watcher also believes the business’ controversial choice to ditch its paper catalogue in August may have had a larger impact than anticipated.

“Quite a high portion of Australians each week look to the catalogue in their letterbox to plan shopping trips and understand promotions,” he says. “So I think that’s certainly impacted some of the sales that have come through.”

Independents on the up

However, an often untold story in Australia’s supermarket saga is the ever-present impact of independents, along with smaller competitors such as Aldi and Costco. Gilbert, along with a number of other analysts, believes the independent sector has gained significantly on both Coles and Woolworths during the pandemic and may have retained a decent chunk of those shoppers.

“There’s definitely a clear trend out there of consumers wanting to shop more local and shopping closer to home,” he says. “And that’s benefiting players that have more stores, such as Woolworths, and the independents, in particular, are performing very strongly at the moment.”

Following Woolworths’ result on Thursday a number of analysts reiterated their belief the independent sector could be entering a purple patch. “The local thematic continues to be dominant, boosting growth for the Metcash supplied independents, with Coles poorly positioned in local and online,” JP Morgan’s Shaun Cousins wrote.

Data from market analysis firm IBISWorld shows independents, which are largely supplied by ASX-listed wholesaler Metcash, gained market share over 2020 along with Aldi. Investment bank Morgan Stanley is also bullish on Metcash, stating earlier this month an influx in regional tourism could drive significant sales growth across the independent sector.

Let’s just hope we don’t see anyone pull the price lever.

Jarden analyst Ben Gilbert

Despite this grim outlook for Coles, analysts and investors still believe the business is in a good spot over the long term, pointing to its strong profits, eventual integration of Ocado, and good process on its $1 billion in cost savings plan as positive moves.

But it wouldn’t be a true supermarket battle without a price war, and Gilbert believes any move by either chain to relive the steep discounts of years prior could see the whole sector deteriorate.

“What everyone’s watching is if we start to see more aggressive discounting in a market where consumers have become a bit more price agnostic,” he says. “If we see one discount, everyone follows and it becomes a race to the bottom which puts pressure on profitability.

“So let’s just hope we don’t see anyone pull the price lever.”

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Buying the block: Why purchasing a unit block is a great investment

What could be better than investing in a residential apartment?

Er … how about buying the whole block?

Every year, a limited number of complete unit buildings come up for sale, sometimes containing a number of strata-titled apartments, but more often as part of a single-title, one landlord holding

They’ve usually been built in the late 1940s to early 1960s by post-war migrants to Australia who worked hard in their new land, saved their money and then wanted to invest in something solid that could provide a steady income. 

“When they come up for sale, the people attracted to them tend to be developers who might strata them and sell them off individually, or redevelop the site with a new building, or local investors who are cashed up and looking for quality assets,” says Alex Hart of Hart Estate Agents.

“A lot have been held for years by the same family in family trusts and are now in poor condition, rented out to backpackers. But some have been well looked after and offer a good yield and capital growth.”

Mr Hart is currently selling an art deco block of six two-bedroom apartments in Sydney’s Bondi Beach – with an annual income of $185,000 – at auction on March 2 on a price guide of around $5 million.

The 38 Simpson Street property is one of just 20-odd for sale across Greater Sydney, generally scattered around suburbs like Bondi, Maroubra, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill and Manly.
Unit blocks make a great long term investment for those wanting a steady income with their property. Photo: Tammy Law

In Melbourne, there are also just over 20 unit blocks for sale, and in the Brisbane region, markedly more at over 50. 

“They were often built at a time when there were few council requirements and little legislation and handed down through the generations,” says Matthew Abboud of Brisbane’s Ray White Paddington, who’s selling a five-unit, 900-square-metre block at 47 Victoria Terrace, Annerley, for between $1500 and $1900 per square metre.

“You generally find them around Annerley, Hamilton, Chatswood, Nundah and Clayfield, and mostly the interest is from seasoned developers or investors from Brisbane, Sydney and expats in places like Hong Kong,” he says.

“They’re good for super funds with a net yield of four to six per cent.” 

Another in Melbourne, a 1970 seven-unit block at 10 Orange Grove, St Kilda East, is for auction on February 25 for $3.1 million to $3.4 million.

“Money in the bank is worth nothing, so these are good from a yield perspective,” says Leor Samuel of Gary Peer & Associates.

“And they tend to be solid brick, so well built.”

They can be an excellent investment, believes Sue Dahn of investment advisory Pitcher Partners.

Property Investor- Bondi Block Photo: Supplied

Owning one block gives you decision-making sovereignty over all the units, and it’s easier then to renovate and value-add. 

“But it also means you have your assets in one location and if the area goes down, it’s a risk,” she says.

“It’s also indivisible; you can’t sell off just one apartment to help your cash flow, and dealing with tenants can be hard work.”

If you buy well, however, you can reap big dividends by changing the units to strata title ownership – after checking if it’s permitted – and selling them off, says David Morrell of buyers’ agents Morrell and Koren.

“But you’ve got to be a good truffle-hunter to find a good one.”

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Cotton industry rebounds as harvest starts on potential $1.5 billion crop, but China still not buying

Australia’s cotton harvest is getting underway and early estimates suggest the crop will be four times larger than last year’s and worth about $1.5 billion.

If it all comes to fruition, it will be a noticeable comeback for the industry, which has struggled through years of drought and had one of its smallest crops on record in 2020.

“It was a lean year last year with only 600,000 bales, the smallest crop in 40 years,” Cotton Australia chief executive Adam Kay said.

“It’s not back to the levels we’d like to be at [of] around 4 million bales, but no-one is complaining.”

According to ABARES, the good seasonal conditions that led to Australia producing its biggest wheat crop on record resulted in the area planted to cotton this season increasing by an estimated 395 per cent to 295,000 hectares.

Australian cotton growers are expecting to get about $600 a bale this season.(Supplied: Chris Magnay)

Life without China

The cotton industry got baled up in China’s trade stoush with Australia last year, when Chinese mills were suddenly told not to buy Australian cotton.

China had been taking about 65 per cent of the Australian cotton crop in a trade worth $800 million.

Mr Kay said the unfortunate situation had not changed, but the industry had quickly found other markets.

“China is not taking any Australian cotton [at the moment], there’s no increase in tariffs or anything like that, they’re just not taking our crop,” he said.

Mr Kay said overall the cotton market was looking strong and Australian growers were expecting to receive about $600 a bale this year.

He said the cotton price was “historically at the very high end of things, which is great news”.

Cotton futures prices have reached nearly 90 US cents a pound this week, which is the highest it has been since mid-2018.

Every drop counts

The La Niña weather pattern has not delivered widespread rain to all of the cotton-growing regions, and on Queensland’s Darling Downs, irrigators are nervously doing their figures, determining if they have enough water in storage to finish their cotton crops.

Derryck Mickelborough, who farms west of Dalby, told ABC Rural he had enough water in dams, but only by the skin of his teeth.

“We’ve learned a few lessons over the past and like to keep our planting areas small and do a good job of it,” he said.

A map showing the cotton growing regions of Australia.
Map of the cotton growing regions of Australia.(Supplied: Cotton Australia)

Mr Kay said when it came to soil moisture and water for irrigation, the outlook for cotton growers was varied.

“Parts of central Queensland are quite lean [dry], but near St George they’ve done well,” he said.

“Parts of New South Wales are a bit lean too in the north-west, so [it’s] a mixed bag across all of the areas, but [it’s] good to see at least a bit of crop in all of them.”

While a few growers near Emerald have now started picking, the bulk of Australia’s cotton harvest will occur between March and May.

Meanwhile, in Australia’s far north, about 3,000 hectares has been planted during the wet season in the Northern Territory, with growers expected to make a final decision on building a cotton gin within the next few months.

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BOJ’s Kuroda says no plan to ‘permanently reduce’ ETF buying

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda attends a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

February 16, 2021

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s central bank has no plans to “permanently reduce” its purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETF), its governor said on Tuesday, signalling that its upcoming policy review won’t lead to a radical change in its asset-buying scheme.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda also said the recent stock price rally reflected market optimism over the global economic outlook, brushing aside views its ultra-loose policy was fuelling an asset price bubble.

“Optimism over the global economic outlook and steady vaccine roll-outs may be behind the recent surge in stock prices,” Kuroda told parliament.

“But the global outlook remains highly uncertain,” he said, adding that risks to Japan’s economy remained skewed to the downside.

Japan’s stocks rose to a 30-year high on Tuesday in line with a global market rally reflecting hopes of big stimulus and steady vaccine rollouts.

The BOJ has unveiled a plan to review its policy tools, including its ETF-buying programme, in March to make it more sustainable as the COVID-19 pandemic forces it to maintain its stimulus for a prolonged period.

Kuroda said the review would address the side-effects of prolonged easing, as the hit to growth from the pandemic may keep his 2% inflation target elusive for years.

“It may be difficult for inflation to reach 2% in 2021, 2022 and even 2023,” Kuroda said. “It’s not as if our efforts have had no effect. But we need to do more, given the fact inflation hasn’t reached 2% despite eight years (of easing),” he said.

Kuroda’s second five-year term as BOJ governor ends in April 2023.

Core consumer prices fell 1.0% in December from a year earlier, marking the biggest drop in a decade, a sign of intensifying deflationary pressure.

Kuroda said it was premature to debate an exit from the central bank’s super-loose policy including the BOJ’s huge ETF purchases, as the pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

“Our ETF buying has had a positive impact on the economy and prices. We don’t have any plan to end or permanently reduce our purchases,” Kuroda said. “We’ll look into ways to address (the side-effects) at our March review,” he said.

Under a policy dubbed yield curve control, the BOJ guides short-term interest rates to around -0.1% and 10-year yields to around zero. It also buys huge amounts of assets such as ETFs as part of efforts to achieve its 2% inflation target.

The BOJ’s plan to review its policy tools in March reflects a growing concern among policymakers over the rising cost of extended easing.

Some analysts also criticise the BOJ for continuing its huge ETF buying at a time Tokyo stock prices have set new highs.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Kim Coghill, Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Giles Elgood)

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Buying a cafe and live music venue at the height of COVID-19 restrictions paid off for these Canberra brothers, but how have other small businesses fared?

In the winter of 2020, dining out in Canberra — like most of Australia — was a rare occurrence.

Takeaway became par for the course, the live music scene ceased, and even when COVID-19 restrictions began to lift, numbers were strictly limited.

But when things were looking their most dire, three brothers decided to buy a cafe in the city’s inner north.

“There were definitely moments where we were like, ‘This is silly’,” Sam Conway, one third of the trio, said.

“We doubted it, especially throughout the process, and there were so many moments where we thought, ‘We have absolutely no idea what we’re doing’.

With backgrounds in music, but none in running a hospitality business, the brothers ultimately took the leap to buy Downer’s Gang Gang cafe because of their love of live performance.

And the live music void left by the larger venues, who until recently were not operating, meant people were hungry for an in-person show.

“It was just immediately a perfect vibe — we could only have 25 people but we put candles around and it felt really good,” Mr Conway said.

“People just like to have a place they can come and hang out.”

Live gigs are held outdoors at Gang Gang to accommodate COVID-safe crowds.(Supplied)

Live music revival in the suburbs

For local musicians, Gang Gang is one of the few live music venues available to them in the capital.

Singer-songwriter Jamie Kentwell’s first gig after lockdown was at Gang Gang — quite a change, after months of livestreaming her performances on Facebook.

“I used to be so nervous and so awkward on stage but I feel like after that big break, coming back on stage, I’m just so excited about it all the time and not as nervous anymore,” she said.

She said finding somewhere to perform was “slim pickings”, so having Gang Gang’s local space was ideal.

“Gang Gang is also just a really safe place where you can come if you’re feeling anxious or stressed,” she said.

“It’s such a nice, calm environment.”

Jamie looks at the camera seriously, holding a guitar. She has peroxide blonde hair and sits on a couch in the cafe.
Jamie Kentwell spent most of 2020 performing via social media due to the pandemic.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

While the combination of a cafe and live music has made the business a success, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

“The reality of buying the business is a bit different to what we were expecting,” Mr Conway said.

“I thought I would be doing more of the planning behind the scenes, but it really is all hands on deck most of the time.

“Luckily everyone just seems really supportive, including the government. We’ve made some pretty decent-sized little mistakes and they’ve been supportive.”

The suburban location has also helped the brothers turn their risky beginnings into reward.

“I think the location has been a massive positive for us,” Mr Conway added.

Inner city cafe closes after 21 years

Gang Gang has benefited from a phenomenon that has punished other businesses in inner-city areas.

According to Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, the move to working from home over the last year has had a two-fold effect.

While some suburban businesses have thrived, for others, working from home could be the death knell for businesses who don’t have the option to adapt.

“There’s coffee shops in suburban areas that are doing quite nicely because people are at home, but in those town centres or CBDs, a lot of them are still struggling,” Ms Carnell said.

London Circuit and Northbourne as viewed from City Hill.
Foot traffic has not returned to the same levels as before the pandemic in Canberra’s inner city.(ABC Canberra: Michael Black)

For some inner-city businesses, the end has already come.

Dobinsons has closed its Bunda Street cafe after 21 years of operation, and are taking the business in a new direction.

While foot traffic has slowly returned to the CBD, co-owner Andrew Leggett said it was not what it was before the pandemic.

“The offices aren’t as full as they were and the retail shops aren’t doing as much business as they did before the pandemic,” Mr Leggett said.

Instead, like the team behind Gang Gang, they are investing in the suburbs.

The business will focus on its retail offerings in other parts of Canberra, including Woden and Belconnen, and will open a new bakery in Gungahlin later this year.

“Basically our business has taken a really huge, evolutionary twist since the pandemic, the pandemic sort of facilitated that and we’ve moved into food retail, as opposed to traditional seated hospitality,” Mr Leggett said.

Andrew makes a coffee behind the counter, looking into the camera.
Dobinsons closed its city cafe due to a downturn in foot traffic after the pandemic started, co-owner Andrew Leggett said.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

Many Government office workers still at home

Ms Carnell, who is a former ACT Chief Minister, said more needs to be done to ensure small businesses in the CBD and town centres are supported when JobKeeper ends in March 2021.

She said some small businesses could be saved if more ACT Government workers returned to the office.

“The Federal Government have made that call, but the ACT Government hasn’t.

“It’s absolutely essential [they return]. And in a reasonable manner, but I think we have to start that process and start it quite aggressively.”

Kate wears gold earrings and a dress suit, and red lipstick, she looks bright-eyed, staring into the camera.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says the loss of office workers is still hurting businesses.(ABC News: Niki Burnside)

The ACT Government said its workplaces were managed in a way “that prioritises work health, safety and wellbeing”.

“In some instances, this involves reduced capacity to accommodate physical distancing,” a Government spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said many staff had adopted a “hybrid” working pattern.

“Of the remaining ACTPS staff who are able to work from home, many continue to do so, often as part of a ‘hybrid’ work pattern where part-time attendance in the physical workplace is supplemented by part-time working from home.  

“These patterns of work can vary significantly between directorates based on the specific workplace, service delivery and working environments of the directorate.”

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Melvin Capital loses 53% in January over bet against GameStop thanks to Reddit buying spree

Hedge fund Melvin Capital felt the effects of the buying spree spurred by individual buyers from the r/WallStreetBets subreddit account, with the group losing 53 percent in January.

Despite the loss, Capital received fresh cash from investors by the end of January after taking heavy losses due to the unexpected and record stock gains for companies like GameStop, according to a source cited by Reuters.

Melvin started January with $12.5 billion in assets, but is closing out the month with $8 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal’s report on the losses. It closed out its short position on GameStop in the wake of the massive surge. Other groups like Citron have also felt the squeeze by betting against GameStop and have closed their short positions with heavy losses.

Also on
NY charity Robin Hood receives undue flak from people angry at Robinhood trading app, finds ‘silver lining’ in new supporters

GameStop became the center of controversy after motivated buyers sought to flood the market and increase its stock price aiming to upset Wall Street hedge funds. Trading at a mere $10 a share in October, GameStop closed out Friday at $325 a share. It has seen a total gain of over 1000 percent this year. 

Redditors also invested into other surprising companies like AMC leading to a frenzy on Wall Street as longtime investors found themselves trading in a quickly fluctuating and unpredictable market. 

Traders who bought into GameStop mainly did so through the app Robinhood, which controversially stepped in and halted trading on certain companies and then limited it, claiming this was a move to prevent market manipulation. Critics, from Republicans like Ted Cruz to Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have blasted the preventative measures and argued it is market manipulation in favor of hedge funds who suffered losses because of the individual buyers.

Also on
Robinhood execs’ contributions to House Financial Services panel leaders under scrutiny as hearing over GameStop saga announced

The Security and Exchange Stock Commission (SEC) has promised to investigate the matter, and there will be congressional hearings this week. Some lawmakers have called for the SEC to possibly enact new trading rules, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) who has called for action from the SEC multiple times this week, urging them to have “clear rules about market manipulation” and the “backbone to enforce” those rules.

“To have a healthy stock market, you’ve got to have a cop on the beat,” she said.

It was reported earlier that short-selling mega-investors lost a staggering $70.8 billion this month. Their losses were partly driven by small traders pumping money into stocks like GameStop.

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Raiders owner Davis buying WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces

FILE PHOTO: Dec 24, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

January 15, 2021

(Reuters) – Raiders owner Mark Davis on Thursday said he was poised to purchase the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces from MGM Resorts International, expanding his sports footprint in the city.

Davis moved the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas from Oakland ahead of the current season and the team plays in the new $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium near the Las Vegas strip, not far from the Aces home at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

“I am excited to announced that I have entered into an agreement to purchase the Las Vegas franchise in the WNBA for MGM Resorts International,” Davis said in a statement.

“I will have more to say once I receive official approval from the WNBA Board of Governors and have had a chance to speak with the players, coaches and administrators of the team.”

The Aces, who moved from San Antonio to Las Vegas before the 2018 season, are stocked with young talent and reached the finals last year behind the outstanding play of league MVP A’ja Wilson.

“We can confirm we have entered into an agreement to sell the Las Vegas Aces to Mark Davis and are awaiting approval from the WNBA Board of Governors,” said George Kliavkoff, president of entertainment and sports at MGM Resorts International.

“Mark is a longtime champion of women’s basketball and we believe he is the right person to lead the Aces into a new era. We will continue our enthusiastic support of the WNBA, NBA and basketball in Las Vegas.”

Davis is also a fan of the city’s other professional sports franchise, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, who play at T-Mobile Arena on Las Vegas Boulevard.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Is your Height a Factor while Buying Exercise Equipment?

Is your Height a Factor while Buying Exercise Equipment? The reply to this question is a resounding “YES”. Most exercise machines are designed with the consideration of tall people in mind. The height factor should therefore be paramount in deciding what size of equipment to purchase.

Short people’s height is classified within the range of 5ft 3in and below. Selecting workout equipment for such persons is quite tasking. An elliptical for a short person for instance should have a minimal stride length of not more than 18 inches to avoid causing strain on your joints. Also, the handle bars should not be too high to prevent you from over-stretching your arms.

Another reason why your height should come into play while purchasing an exercise equipment is the storage space available for the machine. Your ceiling may be lower than the size of the equipment and you will not want to cause any damage to your building. Your basement may also be the only space you have to keep the equipment. Hence, you must opt for a compact machine that can fit properly to allow for your towering height if you are tall.

Here is a list of factors below to give you an insight into what you need to consider before buying exercise equipment depending on your height.

Stride Length

A stride length is the longest distance between each pedal or foot. For a tall person whose height is above 5ft 7in, the appropriate stride length of any gym equipment is from 18 inches and above. The elliptical for a short person has a stride length of between 13-18 inches.Tall people have longer legs, and of course longer strides. Exercise machines in the gym or at home can be adjusted to accommodate varying heights of users.

Shorter people should not be discouraged about their height. Everyone needs to get in shape whether tall or short. Exercise is not limited by height so if you find yourself classified as a short person don’t panic. Most equipment give room for people like you and you can find elliptical for a short person designed for someone like you available on the market.


An exercise equipment needs to be kept safe while not in use. Ensure you purchase a machine that you can easily fold and stash away after use especially if you are planning to use it at home. At the gym, there is normally a dedicated space for every equipment but you may want an elliptical or a treadmill for home use.

The ellipticalfor a short person is compact for easy storage which could easily pass for a teenager’s equipment because of its portable size. It is also convenient for you to mount it without any help when you want to work-out. It is very mobile and lightweight with no difficulty in operation.


Every work-out machine has a specific size which depends on your height as a user. If you are a tall person, you will need to go for a higher and longer equipment. This will suit your body size and prevent you from sustaining cramps in your groin area, legs, and arms. It will also avoid excessive pressure from being exerted on the machine.

For a short person, a low-sized machine will be a better choice. The length and height must be lower than that of tall people. Its handle bars should also be lower. A high handle bar will not give you the comfort you deserve if you are short. You will tend to exert so much energy in operating the equipment and this shouldn’t be the case.

LCD Display

This is the visual panel that automatically stores your settings for each work-out session. It tells you how much time you spent during every session and how many calories burnt. The feedback you get from this console is very useful for tracking your progress regularly.

The position where this console is situated on the machine is important. This will help you decide which equipment is convenient for your height. If you are tall, it shouldn’t be too low because you will not feel comfortable bending too low to view the display. Likewise, a short person should opt for an equipment that has its console positioned not too high to avoid straining their neck while trying to read the information displayed.


While performing exercise, whether at home or at the gym, it is recommended that you should feel relaxed. Your training outfit must be comfortable to give room for proper ventilation. Your footwear must also not be too tight or oversized. You are also advised to come along with a bottle of water for hydration while working out.

Most equipment have cooling fans, bottle holders and USB ports for music. The position of these attachments is a factor that is determined by your height. Ensure you check their positions to be sure they match your height and reach before you purchase any machine.

What you may consider a luxury or unimportant is very useful for your convenience. The time you spend on the equipment during every session depends on how comfortable you feel. Hydrating yourself from time to time with your bottle of water handy while listening to your favorite tracks will make you want to go on and on without sweating or gasping for air.


Purchasing exercise equipment is not a cheap venture. Therefore, you need to put in a lot of consideration before investing in one. Don’t just order any equipment and expect it to meet your requirements. If you can, visit the shop yourself and test the available machines on display before buying one.

You don’t want to end up with a machine that will cause you injuries rather than keep you fit. The outlined factors above will surely assist you in deciding which equipment is the most suitable for your height.

Make a summarized list of what I have discussed on this page and take it along while you go out to buy your exercise equipment. It will serve as a guide.






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JGB yields drift higher after weak BOJ buying operation

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TOKYO — Yields on some Japanese government bond futures drifted higher on Friday in holiday-thinned trade after weak results from a Bank of Japan debt buying operation pushed down futures prices.

Yields were also supported by a sense of relief after Britain and the European Union agreed a free trade deal, averting economic turmoil at the year’s end – the deadline for Brexit.

Benchmark 10-year JGB futures fell 0.03 point to 151.95, with trading volume of 8,156 lots.

The 10-year JGB yield fell 0.5 basis point to 0.010%. The 20-year JGB yield rose 0.5 basis point to 0.390%.

The 30-year JGB yield climbed 0.5 basis point to 0.625%, but the 40-year JGB yield held steady at 0.665%.

At the middle of the yield curve, the five-year yield rose 0.5 basis point to minus 0.115%.

At the short end, the two-year JGB yield was flat at minus 0.130%. (Reporting by the Tokyo markets team Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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Concrete validation. Expert Andrey Kurilkin explains why Russian officials and billionaires are building monuments and buying doctorates

As some countries face disputes over the demolition of monuments, others are seeing an increasing number of figures on pedestals popping up. In Moscow, the development of monument culture is especially intense. The December news cycle has featured a dispute over a memorial to actor Vladimir Etush, plans to create a monument to singer Iosif Kobzon, sculptor Zurab Tsreteli agreeing to memorialize actor Valentin Gaft, and the unveiling of the “Atom of the Sun” statue in memory of the Moscow Art Theater’s artistic director Oleg Tabakov. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs — an organization that unites the country’s billionaires — have been fighting against the “Last Address” project, an initiative aimed at memorializing the victims of Stalin’s Great Terror. For Meduza, producer and publisher Andrey Kurilkin, the director of the platform InLiberty and the author of the project “New Monuments for a New History,” explains what the creators of these new monuments want to tell society — and what they are causing people to forget. 

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