The changing face of trade
Discovering new things – online, offline and between the line
In ancient Greece, there were three types of traders: Kapeloi, Naukleroi and Emporoi. Translated in modern terms, kapelos would be the local trader, naukleros the international middleman with his own shop concept and emporos the franchisee.
Aristotle’s ideal conception of the city’s location was also clearly defined. Accordingly, it is located two miles from the coast, brings its food from its own land as far as possible in order to remain as economically self-sufficient as possible. The import of all dispensable articles is prohibited, as is the export of essential goods.
Since the 16th century BC, trade and our cities have been constantly transformed. The only thing that is still clearly defined is change. And with it the face of commerce, the task of the merchant and the nature of consumption. We are experiencing hybrid shopping behaviour, multiple use of space, modular shop systems, a curated assortment, online, offline and between the line.
Through COVID-19, change in trade has additionally entered a kind of particle accelerator. Many unknowns demand adaptation to human needs. It is not only about protecting physical health, our psyche also wants to be preserved. The best protective shield for this is the accumulation of positive stimuli and experiences. Due to quarantine, individuals deprive themselves of many of these things, making it all the more important to facilitate positive discoveries at the remaining points of human encounter and communication. Whether in stationary retail or online, i.e. on the couch.
How can we counter this development? One solution is “serendipity”, the unexpected discovery of something completely new. Or in retail: surprisingly staged “chance discoveries” that provide the decisive impulse to buy online, offline and between the line. Away from the pure point of sale, towards the “point of experience” – to aesthetic sales stages with a diverse and curated assortment. Modular, usable spaces that invite us on a multi-sensory journey, transporting us into another world. And be it only until the next moment.
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