Why shopping will never be the same

Why shopping will never be the same

By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SANTA CLARA, Calif.
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Nola Donato has seen the future of retail, and it is in a Magic Mirror.
 

The Intel scientist has designed a high-tech
mirror that shows how clothes look on a consumer who simply stands in
front of an LCD monitor. Parametric technology simulates body type and
how fabrics fit � based on weight, height and measurements.

Think
of it as a digital fitting room. The concept is three to five years
from fruition but could open the door for Intel in the retail market.

The
convergence of smartphone technology, social-media data and futuristic
technology such as 3-D printers is changing the face of retail in a way
that experts across the industry say will upend the bricks-and-mortar
model in a matter of a few years.

“The next
five years will bring more change to retail than the last 100 years,”
says Cyriac Roeding, CEO of Shopkick, a location-based shopping app
available at Macy’s, Target and other top retailers.

Within
10 years, retail as we know it will be unrecognizable, says Kevin
Sterneckert, a Gartner analyst who follows retail technology. Big-box
stores such as Office Depot, Old Navy and Best Buy
will shrink to become test centers for online purchases. Retail stores
will be there for a “touch and feel” experience only, with no actual
sales. Stores won’t stock any merchandise; it’ll be shipped to you. This
will help them stay competitive with online-only retailers, Sterneckert
says.

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