I would like to pull out one more idea from Derek Thompson’s article, What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017? It is this prediction that self-driving cars could maybe become the new retail store:
“Once autonomous vehicles are cheap, safe, and plentiful, retail and logistics companies could buy up millions, seeing that cars can be stores and streets are the ultimate real estate. In fact, self-driving cars could make shopping space nearly obsolete in some areas. CVS could have hundreds of self-driving minivans stocked with merchandise roving the suburbs all day and night, ready to be summoned to somebody’s home by smartphone. A new luxury-watch brand in 2025 might not spring for an Upper East Side storefront, but maybe its autonomous showroom vehicle could circle the neighborhood, waiting to be summoned to the doorstep of a tony apartment building. Autonomous retail will create new conveniences and traffic headaches, require new regulations, and inspire new business strategies that could take even more businesses out of commercial real estate. The future of retail could be even weirder yet.”
It’s an interesting idea. And perhaps not as far fetched as it may seem. Delivery timelines are constantly being compressed. And as the purchasing data gets better, it may be possible to anticipate sales before they even happen such that you’re minimizing the amount of unsold product being hauled around.
I’m going to end here because it’s now time for some Raptors playoff basketball. But what are your thoughts?