Informations and abstract
Keywords: household behaviour, retailing, consumer credit
The paper investigates, in the light of the fast moving changes occurred in the Italian consumer's perception towards new payment systems, some recent transformations that took place in the retailing market. It provides evidence to show the passage from a "cash" society to one based on "credit", and specifically how Italian household's habits are changing in the wake of new credit mechanisms to finance private consumption. The analysis, focused on recent developments of the consumer credit market in Italy, takes into account households' income and wealth data in the last decade, also in a territorial perspective, and discusses the economic implications of this new phenomenon. In short, developing a closer partnership between consumer credit operators and large brand manufacturers/retailers could increase efficiency in the economy, create value for consumers, lower interest rates and final costs.