Posted on 10. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet If there were an Olympics of shopping, the US would win hands down. This year, American shoppers will spend in excess of $4.6 trillion dollars on stuff, which equates to somewhere north of 25% of GDP (some estimates put the figure higher). The Brits by comparison lag behind with about 20% of GDP apportioned [...]
Posted on 01. Oct, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Some retail outings fill the shopper with sheer dread. “Horrorstör*” takes that notion one step further, by setting a “traditional haunted house story” in a fictional big box furniture retailer called Orsk. The store is eerily close in style to a certain well-known Scandinavian retailer, and the book looks and feels like one of [...]
Posted on 25. Sep, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Detroit is at once the American Dream and the American Nightmare. Built on automotive manufacturing, and turbo-charged by the construction of freeways in the 50’s and 60’s, the Motor City hit potholes in the 2000’s, with the Great Recession, a corrupt local government and a population decline of 25 percent in the first decade [...]
Posted on 09. Sep, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Flagship stores dot the major shopping thoroughfares of the big cities of the world. Often they are distinguished as much by their size as by their distinctiveness – they are monolithic versions of their mall-based cousins. Yes, they may have a feature or two – a massive digital screen here, a café there – [...]
Posted on 29. Aug, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet The single most motivating notion in retail today can be boiled down to a single word – “Convenience.” I was reminded of that fact again early one day this week, when, dashing out the door with a slice of toast gripped between my teeth, I briefly caught a fascinating discussion on America’s NPR Morning [...]
Posted on 22. Aug, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Delivery drones are so 2013. The big news in technology in retail in 2014 and beyond is robots replacing humans. Starting just this week, right across the road from Apple in Cupertino, the Aloft hotel is testing robotic bellhops. As reported in The New York Times, the cute-as-a-button “Botlr” will deliver basic items from [...]
Posted on 16. Aug, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Hip. Seriously hip. Hilariously hip. Hipper than the hippest hipsters in Brooklyn, and that’s hyper hip. I’m talking about Portland, Oregon ‑ a compact, very livable, and very cool city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I visited Portland recently as part of the WPP Intel Futurecasting Summit and naturally snuck in [...]
Posted on 09. Aug, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet There is an alien creature that has arrived in our midst, with habits that would be completely unrecognizable to previous generations. And yet they are beginning to re-shape the landscape – tearing down old institutions and building up entirely new ones. I’m referring to the Future Shopper. And they live among us. (In fact, [...]
Posted on 31. Jul, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet Put your ear to the ground and you can hear the future. That’s because the advance party has already arrived – we are living in an early beta version of what’s to come. But the rumblings you sense now are nothing compared to the earthquake on its way. Steve Brown, Chief Evangelist and Futurist [...]
Posted on 23. Jul, 2014 by Jon Bird.
Tweet One evening last week, a possible vision of the future of urban transportation pulled up outside a bar in the Mission District of San Francisco. I summoned it in less than a minute, using an app on my smartphone. By the time I had got up from my stool and walked outside, my ride [...]