136. The new retail
There is a bookshop in my hometown of Santiago called ‘Follas Novas’ (New Pages). It has a huge amount of books, every conceivable space is full of them. They keep inventory in the store computer, and also in Jose Antonio’s, the owner, head. He can pinpoint the location of any of the many thousand books immediately and with unfailing precision. It is like a tiny local Amazon, with less stock and slightly faster fulfilment. The latter may be an advantage, but small and likely to reduce further once drones can be used for deliveries. And this is a problem. ‘Follas Novas’ will probably disappear, because it becomes irrelevant as a retail option or because Jose Antonio, its soul, retires, whichever comes first. This will leave a void in the town, but only a few will notice. It makes me think that these local bookshops must mutate to survive, as Darwin or Dawkins would tell you. They must become a space which offers what Amazon cannot, combining shopping with experience in a new way. Ideas?
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