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For my Contemporary Business Strategies course, I was to write a paper from a futuristic point of view about the virtual/technological inventions that would vastly change/improve the average retail enviornment.

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  1. 1. Brianne KeyContemporary Business Strategies 2015 From this current moment in time, six years is not far away at all. A lot canhappen in a short period of time. In the year 2015, I presume we will be past the worst ofour economic and environmental woes but we will still have plenty of room forimprovement. Along with new trends and bolder fashion statements, the technologicaladvances that are new to us today, will be old news. Green practices will be a regularoccurrence in the corporate workplace and civilian homes. Hybrid cars made fordurability and endurance rather than strictly gas mileage will be an innovative customrather than a concept. Gas prices will once again be at equilibrium… if we are even stillusing oil. Hopefully the conversion of waste (and other pollutants that are harming ourprecious earth) into fumeless forms of reusable energy and accelerators will be anenforced practice rather than a distant dream. For the retail industry, technological advances such as smart carts, virtualdressing rooms, virtual personal shoppers, holographic visual displays andadvertisements, and electroluminescent ads and displays will all become customaryperformances by the year 2015. How much more effective would it be to stand on aneon lit pad in a neutral colored room that is dimly lit and instantly, a holographicreplica of yourself appears? Next to your three- dimensional body is a selection of three-dimensional clothes and shoes, and even accessories that you picked via a “smartretail rack” screen at the center of the retail store. The choices are uploaded virtually toan assigned dressing area of which you now test and try your choices without the
  2. 2. hassle of getting undressed and re- dressed. You can fill your virtual shopping cart withall the items you want to keep and they are virtually sent to the back order room of thesame establishment. Within minutes, a sales representative walks up to you and asks youto swipe your loyalty card (with a built-in transmitting microchip that activates whenyou walk into the store and deactivates when you leave) to catalogue and pay foryour purchases. Total elapsed store visit time: 30 minutes. Total items purchased: 25. In my wicked futuristic scenario, the ideal fashionista would visit two to threetimes her average number of stores and make double or triple her usual purchases dueto the stress free and entertaining new methods of retail buying. Retail stores couldmanage their inventory and currency levels better which would cut back onunnecessary human resources and salary expenses. It’s truly a win- win for everyone. Next, imagine that you are standing in line for the new summerblockbuster film and the wait is unforgivably boring. You look to your left just as aflashing neon display of lights bursts into your line of sight and overwhelms your visualreceptors with images of your favorite band posing in the foreground of anelectroluminescent ad for iTunes. A neon pink, green and blue outlined, silhouettedancer wiggles and jiggles across the background. Then the band’s name flashesacross the paper thin installment in a blaze of retina- burning, time square worthy brightlights. Imagine that you are sitting at home and decide you need an outfit for a partyyou have been anticipating. You haven’t the best taste in clothes and all of your friendsare busy. You head over to the mall and decide to wing it and hope for the best. Youcome across a computer larger than your entire body and it asks if you need help. Youvocally announce that you want to go to a store your friend suggested a while back
  3. 3. but you have no sense of style. A virtual person appears and says “I have and openingavailable now if you’d like.” You agree to meet the virtual personal shopper in a storeon the second floor in ten minutes. When you walk in the store, Rose, as she likes to becalled, is waiting eagerly on an identical screen by a rack of cocktail dresses. You feelskeptical but Rose says one of the satin, strapless, violet dresses with lace accents willcompliment the red and blue tones in your skin and, bring emphasis to your legs andshoulders and could be paired with black patent leather kitten heels adorned with asmall violet rose. You try it all on and instantly fall in love. While you are busy in thedressing room, Rose has selected a shiny, silver, jeweled cocktail ring and matchingstuds. Rose asks if you would like help with make- up selections and you decline onlyafter making a nail and eye brow waxing appointment for the next day at the salon atthe opposite end of the mall. You thank rose, pay for you items and leave. Disasteraverted. Your friends cannot stop praising you, your crush cannot stop staring at youand you are overflowing with confidence. Not a bad way to end the weekend if youask me. There are infinite possibilities for the future of retail. So many different modes ofretail enhancement are waiting to be imagined, designed, tested and turned intopermanent practices. The ones I discussed here are just the beginning of what theminds occupying our planet are capable of. How can retail get anymore fun andaddictive than it already is? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
  4. 4. Works Cited1. YouTube. 7 June 2009. “Electroluminescent Retail Advertisement- Samsung”. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9sXaNlqSLwY&feature=PlayList&p=2B949F340CC4545A&playnext=1&playnext_f rom=PL&index=33. rom=PL&index=33.2. YouTube. 7 June 2009. “The world’s first holographic illusion, designed for retail”. “The http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDMgXoAySME. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDMgXoAySME.3. YouTube. 7 June 2009. “Kate Moss Hologram”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIcsYBZSQ48?. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIcsYBZSQ48?.