So what's the future of retail? It's the $5-trillion driving force of the modern economy. Yet today’s SoLoMo shopping is almost unrecognizable from the salesman-to-buyer model of the last 2,000 years. With the pace of innovation only escalating - from driverless cars to personal robots and virtual reality - in 10 years, will physical retail even exist?
Westfield assembled an interdisciplinary team to study this question. Together with leading futurists and colleagues from Design, Labs, Strategy and Operations, we seek to predict how tech, culture and commerce will converge, and map a model for real world retail that can thrive in 2025 and beyond.
One of the most interesting parts of the project is how divergent opinions of the future are, whether among leading futurists, or internal team members interpreting the same inputs. Will driverless cars overtake the roads? Does the concept of ownership fade away? May embedded implants and ubiquitous interfaces replace smartphones and keyboards? Will personal robots do the shopping for us? As the saying(s) go, it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, and the best way to predict the future is to create it.