Shopping in 20..39?

Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail, sounded a similar note. He predicts consumers will expect physical stores in 2039 to have products that are much more tailored to their needs and preferences, as well as offer a particular viewpoint on the assortment and price of what they carry. Amazon, on the other hand, is a “point-of-view-free” platform.

Full-body scanners that take your measurements, and recommend the clothes that best fit your body. Seamless checkouts that can be done from inside the dressing room or on your mobile phone, eliminating the need to wait in line.

That means a different tenant mix, smaller selling floors, and technologies and experiences that give shoppers a reason to leave their couches and hit the aisles.

experts agree there will likely be fewer malls by 2039.

If shoppers want to buy something, they can scan their digital shopping cart, stored on the app, at a kiosk to check out; if not, they can send the products back to the stockroom by placing them in a chute.

But there could be other uses for the freed up space. DDR’s Hurwitz said he hasn’t seen retailers requesting smaller square footage for their stores, because they need the stockroom space to quickly fulfill online orders and remain competitive. They are effectively turning stores into miniature distribution centers.

But Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail, said this will likely be a temporary trend, because as retailers’ leases expire, they’ll be able to snatch up smaller spaces in a more cost-effective manner.

Instead, they can do things such as open seasonal shops where the population migrates (think the Hamptons in the summer) or peddle merchandise at concerts or large events.

Kantar’s Gildenberg said there will also be a fusing of residential, commercial, retail and entertainment space 25 years down the road—a trend that is slowly emerging. He predicts that as Americans live longer, small co-operative food stores will open in retirement communities, and will be staffed by the people who live there.

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