I have been very interested in the potential impact of automation in retail, not least because of Amazon Go. While I do believe that there are a lot of inconveniences about the in-store experience that can be addressed with automation – and standing in line to pay is a big one – I also believe that the future of the store experience had better not fundamentally rely on automation as the main driver. If that’s what it comes to, that consumers would go to a store to interact with robots and their mobile phones, then it is true that stores are dead and they just don’t know it yet. Because why would I need to go to a store to experience that? I can get an automated, lifeless experience at home, or heck, while sitting in the parking lot of a store on my phone. Stores have to become something different than they are today. I’m going to borrow a line from Scott Galloway: if you walk in a store today, how is that store really fundamentally different than when you walked into a store in 1985? Or, as I frame it: the last great innovations in the retail store were the escalator and air conditioning. In the meantime, there has been an explosion of new and different customer experiences available through digital, whether looking at e-commerce or social media. The store simply is not keeping up. Read more at Forbes.