Welcome To Democratised Retail

For a glimpse of the future, go to Showfields, which has a four-storey department store in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. These being plague years, you can take a virtual tour via its app, which directs you to “the most interesting store in the world”. Amir Zwickel, Showfields’ co-founder, says the mission is to make it as easy to open a physical as a digital store. During the pandemic, retailers from Europe, Asia and Latin America have opened boutiques without setting foot in America. They can because Showfields provides the architecture to do it remotely, including providing human “storytellers” who act as stand-in brand ambassadors. It tracks customers via its app and with cameras, providing retailers with digital feedback. It also attracts shoppers with art exhibitions and live events. “I want to be for physical retail what Shopify is to e-commerce,” says Mr Zwickel. Read more at The Economist.