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The entrance to the new high-tech SportChek flagship store

Every year, IBM releases a list of tech trends that it predicts will have a major affect on our lives over the next five years. In its most recent list, the company made the rather surprising prediction that physical retail shops will become much more popular than internet-based stores. They'll do so utilizing technologies that offer customers a more immersive, interactive shopping experience than they could get simply sitting at their computer. Canada's FGL Sports must be eager to usher in that new age of shopping, as it just opened what it describes as "the most digitally advanced and personalized retail experience in the world." That experience takes the form of the new 80,000 sq ft (7,432 sq m) SportChek sporting goods store, located in Edmonton, Alberta's West Edmonton Mall.  Read More

The StyleShoots system in use

When incorporating photographs of products into catalogs or websites, it’s always helpful if those photos have a digitally-transparent background. This means that a computer working with the photo will allow the user to add in whatever background they wish behind the product – or give it no background at all – instead of being stuck with the background against which it was originally shot. In the past, creating such an image has often required graphic artists to manually cut the product out of the shot, using a program such as Photoshop. Now, however, the StyleShoots system is able to create product shots with transparent backgrounds within seconds, as the photos are being taken.  Read More

The new screen will feature steel umbrellas that can be individually opened and closed and...

Architecture studio 3Gatti has taken inspiration from colorful parasols carried during Shanghai’s hot summer months to design a new facade for the 2010 Shanghai Expo’s Madrid Pavilion. The new screen for the re-purposed office and retail block will feature steel umbrellas that can be individually opened and closed and used to manage interior light levels.  Read More

Walgreens has revealed plans to build what it believes will be the first net zero retail s...

Drugstore chain giant Walgreens has announced its intention to build what the company believes will be the first net zero retail store in the United States. Once open for business, engineers anticipate that the combination of solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal technology, energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting and ultra-high-efficiency refrigeration will allow the new store to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes.  Read More

The Verisize app is designed to determine what size of clothing a person takes, without re...

Buying clothes online is always a bit of a crapshoot. You might know that a Large shirt from one designer fits you, but that doesn’t mean that a Large from another designer will also. That’s why a group of PhD students from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Bacelona (UAB) created the Verisize app – it’s intended to lessen buyers’ chances of ending up with clothes that don’t fit.  Read More

Internet retailer, Kogan, has implemented a new 'Internet Explorer 7 Tax' on customers who...

Getting some members of the public to keep up with new technology can be almost as difficult as getting your brand to cut through in the ultra competitive Internet marketplace. Australian online electronics retailer Kogan is attempting to kill those two birds with one stone by implementing an "Internet Explorer 7 Tax" on customers who use the outdated browser when they make purchases.  Read More

The Price Check by Amazon App is creating a storm in the retail industry

Online retailing leader Amazon is to make a compelling offer this coming Saturday – use their smartphone app to compare prices, and they'll effectively pay you $5 to walk out of the store. It is an historic move in the evolution of retail sales. As smart phone penetration heads for ubiquity, the price comparison app might go mainstream quite quickly from here. For the customer, it means getting accurate comparison information before a purchase. For the shopping app provider it means an opportunity to make a bid on a customer's patronage at the time- and point-of-sale, inside a competitor's bricks and mortar, at the same time as creating a marketing intelligence tool par excellence. A bold move indeed.  Read More

Amazon has patented system to exchange gifts before they’ve been dispatched (Photo: Per ...

Whether it be a difference in personal tastes or a case of doubling up of gifts, in the days since Christmas countless numbers of people have been braving the queues at refund counters in stores around the world looking to exchange unwanted gifts. Online retailer Amazon is looking to make such hassles a thing of the past with the company being awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a system that would allow users to exchange unwanted gifts purchased online before they’ve even been dispatched.  Read More

Digital distribution services like Steam are poised to overtake physical retail sales in t...

In the early days of PC gaming most people got their gaming fix from games delivered by mail order. As sales increased, retail distribution of games on media such as floppy disks, CDs and eventually DVDs took over. Now further evidence of the changing gaming market landscape has been provided by market research company, The NPD Group. According to its PC Games Digital Downloads: Analyst Report, digital distribution is close to overtaking retail as the most popular form of distribution of PC games. The report says that 21.3 million PC full-game digital downloads were purchased online in the U.S. in 2009 compared to 23.5 million physical units purchased at retail in the same period – a difference of just 2.2 million.  Read More

The Intel Point-Of-Sale kiosk designed by Frog Design

Internet shopping is a true marvel of the modern age. Not only does it open up whole new worlds of temptation but it can also save you money. And it does away with annoying or incompetent sales personnel. Despite all of its benefits, buying online is somewhat lacking in one important area - you can't try before you buy, something particularly important when shopping for your clothes. However, with the Point-Of-Sale kiosk concept from Intel, the two experiences might at last find common ground to become the much-needed savior of High Street shopping.  Read More

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