NewsHillsborough County


USF professor shares what the future of retail could look like

Posted at 5:09 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 07:35:30-04

TAMPA, Fla. — There's no doubt COVID-19 changed how many businesses are running.

For some, that means shutting their doors.

We've heard from places like JCPenney, who is shutting down more stores to make up for lost revenue.

With more anchor stores leaving malls, what does the future look like?

USF Professor Phil Trocchia says, "with the advancement of online retailing the malls were declining even further and they're being replaced with lifestyle centers."

A lifestyle center is something like Hyde Park Village. A retail area that's more than just shopping.

"It's more focused on entertainment than purely on shopping like it is at the mall," says Trocchia.

Trocchia also says we're going to see more technology used in the retail industry. It's what he calls ominchannel retail.

He thinks retailers will start to use more virtual or augmented reality in the near future.

That means, you be trying on clothes using a mirror, hitting a button on your phone to order your size and waiting for it to be shipped. Trochhia doesn't see this impacting jobs because those positions will still needed in the warehouse.

However, he does think checkout jobs may be declining in the near future.

Trocchia says, "I don't think people will be checking out 5-10 years from now like they are now. We won't see lines anymore."

What you could see is something similar to what Amazon Go uses, a bunch of cameras to mark your items and then instantly charges your for them in your Amazon account.

Or, it could be a situation where you have a big overhead system, comparable to a Sunpass toll, and your automatically charged for those items in your cart.