Technology’s Impact on the Store’s Footprint
Barry Bourbon in Retail, Retail, San Francisco, Technology

This post on PSFK last week really struck me. For the past few years we’ve seen consumers using their smartphones in stores to seek enhanced product information, compare prices, read reviews, even place orders, so the concept is not new. But what grabbed my attention about this SK Telecom effort is the significant impact this could have on retail real estate. Not only is this store giving customers the important tangibility of exploring the products in person, but it’s incorporating the convenience of online ordering and home delivery, and it’s reducing the store’s footprint by shrinking (if not completely eliminating) the inventory that the retailer needs to keep on-site.

Similarly, with sales representatives using hand-held devices, bulky cash wraps and adjacent queue space are no longer necessary – reclaiming valuable real estate for product displays and maximizing sales in a minimal space. Puma is doing something similar with their Creative Factory concept, letting customers design their own shoes in stores – check out the video below. Is this the store of the future?

Barry Bourbon AIA, LEED® AP, is a leader of Gensler’s global retail practice and a principal in the San Francisco office. With a constant eye on the latest tools and technologies that connect consumers and retailers, Barry inspires colleagues to stay focused on the rapidly evolving issues facing clients, and to design for the holistic experience of a brand. Never one to shy from a challenge, Barry is an expert problem solver who excels at leading multi-location, multi-disciplinary teams with the tightest schedules and budgets. Contact him at
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