Captivate // On the Future of Retail

Physical Retail Comes Online

Doug Stephens looks at the technological advances that will bring retail experiences into the home in the next decade. How will savvy retailers with physical presence maintain a strong foothold in an increasingly digital marketplace? 

"We will no longer be restricted to e-commerce experiences that resemble digital catalogs. Instead, you may shop for clothing by virtually visiting the homes of celebrities and spending time with them while they show you their favorite items from their own closets. Using haptic gloves, you will be able to reach out and touch the items you’re seeing in the virtual word."

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What's Happening With Pop Up Shops?

Pop Up Shops have been a terrific retail strategy over the last several years. Circumventing traditional retail leases, some of which can last upwards of 10 years, and offering unique branding and design opportunities have made them hugely popular. Have we reached the tipping point? And what does the Pop Up model mean for more traditional physical retail? 

"In the past year, however, pop-up shops have proliferated on a mass scale. What was once a guerrilla strategy that allowed emerging brands to level the playing field has become a mainstream weapon, adopted by everyone from Louis Vuitton to Kanye West. The pop-up’s spike in popularity can be attributed in part to the shifting tides of real estate. In London, landlords have become more accepting of short leases. In New York City, as vacancies increase throughout parts of Manhattan, rent has dropped."

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AI, AR, Wearables, and Smart Materials

The idea of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality impacting a retail shopper's experience may seem far off, but you wouldn't know it if you were at CES 2017. 

“Fundamentally, what I’m starting to see in the fashion industry is that technology is part of the conversation and it affects all aspects of the fashion ecosystem.”

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