Can the Internet Save the Department Store?

July 27, 2019

In the department store of the future, you can chat with hipster-ish brand advocates about erectile-dysfunction pills while sipping a cortado from the in-store cafe and perusing fashionable onesies from a brand that first found success on the internet and is just now appearing in “offline retail.”

When you’re ready to check out, you can complete your transaction on the store app. Like tracking an Uber, you can watch as your purchase winds its way to you in the hands of a salesperson, who knows right where you’re standing, thanks to centimeter-precise indoor-location technology.

This experience might sound like a flight of fancy, but it is one you can have today in Plano, Texas, at a store called Neighborhood Goods, which has the backing of investors who normally direct funds to tech companies rather than bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Even the detail about erectile-dysfunction pills is real: The men’s-wellness brand Hims, which sells prescription drugs online, offers goods such as multivitamins and wrinkle cream in the store.

Read the full article here.