The #Collapse of #Retail was built into its marriage to sprawl. It could only survive as long as sprawl ruled the world. To live in sprawl you need cars and a house. The costs of these two items will continue to be prohibitive without more and more debt. The results will be more drug dependency, more obesity and more anger at things. There is a better way, the thinking that in sum is presented under the heading cybercommunities. Cybercommunities make retail the next big thing.
If we avoid war
If we are able to think our way past a world war, we may be able to figure out how we are all going to live when oil is no more, when fossil fuels are overtaken by renewables and when jobs have to be entirely rethought because there are so few of the old ones left.
There is enough on our plate just now to make another war a distraction we do not need.
Cyber communities retail
The revival of retail will begin when we have a clear sense of what a global marketplace really is. This will be an evolving reality but in essence, things will look like this. A community in the cyber communities mode will be a gathering of about 10,000 people living in an area that is #Car Free with a shared ecologically viable system.
In other words, we are talking about an environment where one can walk a few feet to find all the retail one could imagine. There will be no stores to speak of. Instead, there will be kiosks where one can access anything one is looking for with the aid of a resident expert curator who is computer savvy. Aided online shopping. Help close by. A resident of the community to fulfill the needs of any customer. Kiosks would exist throughout cyber communities and be where you discover things, initiate a purchase and complete a transaction which ends in the delivery of what you seek to your door.
Jobs, jobs, jobs
To imagine the jobs this would create and the professional level of those who run these kiosks, think high level, but let qualifications be determined by achieving benchmarks, not where you went to school.
Some kiosks would be more hands-on than others. Those to do with food and other tangible goods would have samples. But within the purview of each kiosk would be access to anywhere in the world where what you want is being made. Comparison shopping, a true market, will rule. Retail will be global and more local than you ever imagined.
This is a mere introduction to the possibilities of car-free community-intensive retail. A kiosk is an attractive small space with a great connectivity to everywhere in the world. Shopping is eye to eye, one-to-one, and a pleasure. No parking. No hassle. Universal.