Over the last 4 years, at Christmas time, retail gurus have been stating that online retail shopping has been increasing exponentially. The fact is, we all do it. At the speed of life and the demands of maintaining that speed, what’s easy and quick is what we gravitate to. Last year during the Christmas season, retail online shopping increased by 14% from 2011 in the U.S. alone. This year the predictions have obviously been higher. I have always wondered what will be done with all these gigantic shopping malls once the trend goes completely towards online. Can the premium that real estate demands for retail store frontage be a thing of the past?

Who says that retail online shopping has be to done on a computer?

This Christmas season, retail online shopping has taken a new perspective and a very interesting one, thanks to Walmart and Mattel.  In Toronto, while many commuters were waiting for their train to get back home,  Union station converted its enormous concrete poles into mini shopping areas. All it took was some high quality printing showcasing high quality pictures and a QR code that led the shoppers to the online shopping site. Commuters were able to browse the photos, identify the toys that they wanted and point and scan. The gift was then delivered to a shopper’s home. Not bad! Multitasking has never been easier…. nor has Christmas shopping!

This year, the Toronto Go-train, with the help of Walmart and Mattel, took it one step further. It has converted 2 of its train cars into “virtual mini shopping destinations”. Commuters may now browse and shop in the luxury of their commute time!   All this is still well within the definition of retail online shopping…. but it’s still a retail online shopping experience.

As Toby Desforges so eloquently stated, “Online sales are replacing retail sales. Consumer goods companies invest massively in sales and distribution via traditional retail. The continued growth of these channels is no longer universally assured. New online channels and indeed retailers are likely to grow rapidly in the coming years. This will put sales teams under extreme pressure, not just as they struggle to create new skills but also as they wrestle with the demands of bricks and mortar retailers in decline.”

This has led me to think about the new retail shopping destinations. All that will be needed is concrete… converting concrete poles into vritual  shopping areas! How cool is that…or is it?! I have visions of a Shopping Park. We will all be casually walking through nature, with all the tree trunks being hosts to retail goods and QR codes….yikes…I’m shuddering!! Think about it… taking a walk through nature will never be the same.