Monday, August 18, 2014

What Will Malls Be 25 Years from Now?

You enter a retail store where only a sample of each item is displayed, where you scan a code and choose your size and color choice, then find your item waiting in the dressing room.  Try it on and then scan a code to pay for the item and complete the sale without ever facing a checkout.  This is just one of the innovations expected to revolutionize shopping centers in the next 25 years. 

What about a mall where the selling space and tenants are constantly in flux, to keep you coming back to a new and exciting experience every time? Dan Hurwitz, CEO of open-air shopping center owner DDR, and other consultants and commercial real estate experts weigh in on what will change, what will last, and what will not survive as shopping becomes a whole new experience in the next couple of decades.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
CNBC

Link to article:
The Mall of the Future:  It's Nothing Like Today!

Excerpt: "Forget the fluorescent-lit indoor mall that's been synonymous with shopping for years. The future of retail will look starkly different 25 years out.

Full-body scanners that take your measurements, and recommend the clothes that best fit your body. Seamless checkouts that can be done from inside the dressing room or on your mobile phone, eliminating the need to wait in line.

Innovations like these are already threatening to become mainstream. And, as consumers shift a larger chunk of their spending toward the Web—where they're offered a seemingly endless pipeline of products—experts say bricks-and-mortar locations need to undergo a complete makeover to stay relevant in future decades.

That means a different tenant mix, smaller selling floors, and technologies and experiences that give shoppers a reason to leave their couches and hit the aisles.

'Retail has to evolve on a regular basis or it faces extinction. It's just the way it is,' said Dan Hurwitz, CEO of open-air shopping center owner DDR. 'While the challenges may be different, the need to evolve … is just as important today as it's ever been, if not more so.'

The significant shift that lies ahead for the industry is already underway. As ubiquitous mall tenants from Sears to RadioShack shutter stores and consumers shop more online, experts agree there will likely be fewer malls by 2039.

The size of individual stores is also a question mark, though experts say selling space will mostly shrink. That's because improved shipping capabilities will lessen the need to keep multiple versions of the same item stocked on the floor.

One company at the forefront of this thinking is Seattle-based Hointer, which licenses its technology to retailers and operates its own apparel store. Its eponymous store keeps only one version of each item on the selling floor, and shoppers use a smartphone app to scan the tags attached to the pieces they want to try on. The items are then dispensed into a dressing room."

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