Retail Trends

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In my new book Digital Vs. Human (buy here) I featured a ‘future flash’ about a new kind of store. Seems someone has beaten me to it. Here’s my fictional flash…

1 June 2020
I’ve been thinking about shops, partly because I remembered what Theodore was saying about retailers generally missing the point about why people go shopping. He suggested that people partly shop to get out of the solitude and boredom that is their own home. Shopping is therefore, in varying degrees, social and is often more about the other human beings people meet and interact with than the things they buy.Historically, shopping was once very social. Half of all London shops once took in lodgers and many, if not most, Parisian shops were located beneath flats or inside houses.

So here’s my idea for a new kind of shop. It would be called 5 Things to Change Your Life. Each month the shop would curate 5 items that could change someone’s mind about something. For example, several copies of Dark Side of the Moon on Vinyl, a bottle of Chateau d’Yquem 1976, a dozen well thumbed copies of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard a pepper grinder that works properly and 48 hours of total silence at a monastic retreat.

But here’s the thing. The shop would openly seek conversations with its customers encouraging them to visit the shop to explain their choices to others. We would explain each item’s history and provenance, even providing the contact details of previous owners. The shop would also host events, including poetry readings, live music, cookery demonstrations and art exhibitions. And it would help people to exchange skills, find jobs and even marriage proposals too?

What do you think? Stick with Amazon?

Best, Nick.

And here’s the fact.

Story is a 2,000 square foot store set on Manhattan’s 10th Avenue that takes it’s point of view from a magazine. Namely, it changes with every ‘issue’ – usually every 6-8 weeks. The store was set up by Rachel Shechtman and follows a particular theme, trend or idea each time it reinvents itself.

Story website and more details here.

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