What Will Future Canadian Stores Look Like?

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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).

Image: Nordstrom

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.

Image: gizmodo.com

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).

Image: Ikea

4) Some retailers will devote less space to sales floor ‘mass product’ while devoting more space to ‘product immersion’. Think Apple Stores, for example.

Image: Apple Store (Dubai)

5) Retailers will create actual ‘playrooms’ rather than showrooms so shoppers may experience products. Ikea, again, is a good example.

Image: http://hookedonhouses.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/ikea7.jpg

6) Displays will become more ‘sleek’ and ‘modern’, incorporating technology. This one is designed by King Retail Solutions.

Image: KRS

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.

Image: KRS

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

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