Retail of the Future

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Retail of the Future

Digital tools can enhance the experience of shopping at retail malls


Shopping malls as we know them today grew out of the post-war boom of the US suburbs, driven by the accessibility of automobiles. But since they became an important cultural touchstone in the 1970s and 1980s—the age of the “mall rat”—the world has continued to change. E-commerce has been steadily pulling people away from in-person shopping experiences for decades. Then the pandemic hit, restricting access to physical retail environments. To bounce back, mall owners and managers need to reimagine what’s possible for retail shoppers and merchants. Dennis Dixon shares his thoughts on how digital tools can enable us to redesign existing spaces in response to the pandemic to promote traffic flow, social distance, and access to sanitization stations. He also explores how new technologies can enable us to augment and enhance the physical experience of visiting the mall. With smart mobile devices and augmented reality, visitors can have hundreds of digital interactions with the mall environment during a physical visit. In the future, Dixon posits, traditional architects and digital experience architects will collaborate to create a hybrid-digital experience that redefines the expectations of a new generation of digitally savvy consumers.

About the speaker

Dennis Dixon is a senior BIM manager at WZMH Architects. He has worked as a designer and project manager for various firms, and was owner/operator of BluPrint, a design/build firm. He has a degree in architectural construction and engineering from Conestoga College.

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