|Breuninger, Stuttgart. Image: http://www.schnickschnacksystems.com|
What will Canadian stores look like in a few years? Here's a glimpse of what some experts predict.
Technology will play a big role, not surprisingly, while 'bricks-and-mortar' stores will become more 'entertainment' based rather than simply a means to a purchase. We'll post some pics and descriptions.
1) Sales associates on the sales floor with hand-held devices. Auto-charging customer's accounts via smart phone technology will become common, and is already used at retailers like Nordstrom (see image below).
2) Cash registers, when used at all, will be streamlined, flexible, and integrate the mobile technology described above. The cash register below is an iPad placed within a bamboo holding.
3) In some stores, inventory may not even exist in the "store" environment, but will instead be shipped to your home via a distribution centre. This has already been initiated at the House Of Fraser.com store in Aberdeen, Scotland
(though customers often use iPads at H of F to browse merchandise, not unlike Canada's defunct catalogue store Consumers Distributing
4) Some retailers will devote less space to sales floor 'mass product' while devoting more space to 'product immersion'. Think Apple Stores
, for example.
5) Retailers will create actual 'playrooms' rather than showrooms so shoppers may experience products. Ikea
, again, is a good example.
6) Displays will become more 'sleek' and 'modern', incorporating technology. This one is designed by King Retail Solutions
7) Technology will be integrated into retailing, including this chef's specials illustrated on digital screens above him. This is a grocery store where LED signage will be used liberally, below.
We can expect new technologies to be quickly integrated into innovative retailers. Canadian Nordstrom stores will certainly use hand-held checkout technology, for example. In the coming years we'll see store technology that we may not have yet have dreamed of.
Information Source: King Retail Solutions