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Retail in 2017: The Irony of Technology

If you walk down any city block, you will probably see 20 people looking down at a smart phone—if not listening to it. Despite their disregard for safety, those distracted individuals might be missing a beautiful sunset, an artfully composed store front, and any number of un-choreographed moments with friends or strangers. But the mentality that “your needs come first” is not just limited to smart phone technology: It is also a driver of the retail industry and the value that brands strive to bring to customers.

In a world of instant gratification, immediate feedback is power. But where does it end? How will we sustain the rapidly growing pace of layering technologies into our life? If we take away all the special moments—serendipitous run-ins, cordial and pleasant conversations with associates and customers, the pleasurable textures, and aromas of ambiance—our daily routines will blend together without distinction. We are confronting Alvin Toffler’s future shock, and our ability to process information at the rate it is presented.


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