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HomeNEWSThe future of retail has a spark in its eye

The future of retail has a spark in its eye

In a talk titled ‘Reading the future’ at the 2016 MPA Magazine Conference last week, James Hurman from Auckland-based innovation agency Previously Unavailable gave members of the magazine industry a glimpse at how the future of technology will transform day-to-day life.

All aspects of shoppers’ routine are in for a major tech overhaul, but it’s consumers’ interaction with online and physical retail that will be going through the most exciting evolution.

Think online marketplaces which leverage the emerging ‘sharing economy’ to allow instant renting out of things they’re not using; buying groceries on-the-go based on exactly how many and what type of nutrients shoppers need; and augmented reality apps that let consumers point their phone in the direction of a store and browse its brimming shelves in real time.

Behold, your future.

Hurman also discussed Swedish entrepreneur Robert Illijason’s unmanned convenience store. The 24hr store has low stock levels, no staff and no point of sale equipment – users get into it by scanning an app on their smartphones at the door, then use the same app to scan barcodes and purchase their items. Cameras capable of facial recognition keep watch.

Hurman’s colleague, innovation planner Theo de Monchy, is also a fan of the model: “​Illijason’s unmanned store could well represent the future of convenience retail, and could prove a welcome change here in New Zealand.”

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