January 20, 2019

Retail's Dystopian Future

“In the year 2040, there will still be plenty of physical, brick-and-mortar stores around where you can go to buy things — but they will be so kitted out with technology and dystopian-like features that they’d feel like another world to today’s consumer.

According to a new report forecasting what the future of retail will look like, analysts predict stores to deploy areas like so-called “cold zones,” which mean exactly what the name implies. They’ll be a literally frigid part of the store where you could try on winter coats and similar products to get a sense of how much you’d actually like them day-to-day. Along these same lines, stores may deploy turf where you could try on cleats and see how they feel in actual use.

The Commerce 2040 report from Euromonitor International also forecasts that stores will roll out other enhancements like facial-scanning technology, so that customers can be recognized as soon as they enter the door. Doing that would allow those stores to offer increasingly personalized shopping experiences. Additionally, the report predicts that stores will increasingly pursue the Amazon Go model of going cashier-free, giving you the freedom to just walk out of the store and automatically be charged for your purchases.”

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