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shopping without a purse – or a buggy ?

Try explaining all this to your grandmother….. *

Firstly she should understand there’s a new fad called the “pop up shop” – when someone sets up a new store and opens the doors almost overnight (gosh, that wasn’t there last week….) and then just-as-suddenly it’s gone again (oh what a shame, they didn’t last long – such nice things in that store and what a pleasant shop-keeper !)

And then Nanna hears about the internet thing where you order clothes from a computer, and it all arrives in your letterbox. You buy a sweater without trying it on ? You can also do that with new shoes – and then send everything back if your outfit doesn’t match ! (it was never like that in my day, dear…)

Gran might’ve been getting the hang of this new shopping already. One of the kids found that birthday book on the American internet, or they’ve been “browsing on-line” to replace missing bits of the best dinner service. (goodness, what a lot to choose from – and it’s really quite fun !)

But now there’s another concept that might seem all too hard to swallow. Combine pop-ups and internet shopping – and then suggest there’ll be no cash registers in the store and no-one will leave with a purchase ! Inside the (busy) store everyone will be looking at their mobile phone…..

According to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, this is what eBay has recently done in New York and London. eBay (surely a “classic” example of internet shopping) has experimented with temporary physical stores – still using the technology of their on-line service. In December 2011 London shoppers chose an item from the 100’s of products on display and would then “pay” using their smart phones to scan a QR code on the price tag, linking to the payment section of the eBay website. The confirmation and payment occurred like a standard eBay transaction, with the goods delivered to the customer’s home.

The same Guardian article described UK supermarkets Tesco and Ocado trialling “virtual shopping walls where shoppers can browse and order groceries using applications on their phones”. And also the House of Fraser opening a store in Aberdeen “with no products, just free coffee and assistants with iPads”

Goodness, what’s the world coming to ? No wonder some kids get out in those weird outfits – obviously bought their mis-matched clothes on the internet and have lost the receipts…


*actually… many of the grandmothers I know can navigate themselves around a pop up shop or on-line shopping site very efficiently… my apologies to any Grandma who might take offense ; it certainly is not intended !


featured image : Power Retail


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