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The rise of the ghost store

December 8, 2009

In an increasingly digital world, physical spaces are evolving to cope with the times. We continue to see the rise of the pop up store as a way for brands to connect physically with audiences. While this is not a new story, we’ve seen a bunch of unexpected brands like Gucci and EA move into this space.

However, there are new demands on big digital players to think about the physical in a new way. Tesco, the UK grocery chain, plan to open one “Dark Store” a year.

Here’s the definition is such a store.

“The supermarkets, which are laid out in the same manner as normal stores, will
be used exclusively by staff doing virtual shopping for online customers.

Instead of the public browsing up and down the aisles, teams of Tesco workers
will push their own trolleys around as they complete more than 1,000
shopping lists every day”

There are also rumors of Amazon planning something in London by creating a space where consumers can order and pick up merchandise.

Clearly, as the digital revolution continues at a pace we will continue to see a blurring of the lines between physical and virtual. While it’s well understand of the experiential advantages of physical space, these two initiatives from Tesco and Amazon show that there might also be considerable business advantages that physical destinations can provide for e-commerce players. 

Posted by Ed Cotton

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