They're calling it s-commerce and it's being rolled out in cities and towns across the UK.
"It's a real revelation," said Malcolm Fosbury, a middleware engineer from Hillingdon. "You just walk into one of these so-called s-commerce centres - or shops - and they have all sorts of things for sale."
Fosbury was particularly impressed by a clothes shop he discovered while browsing in central London. "Shops seem to be the ideal medium for transactions of this type. I can actually try out a jacket and see if it fits me. Then I can visualise the way I would look if I was wearing the clothing," he said.
This is possible using a high-definition 2D viewing system, or 'mirror' as it has become known.
Shops, which are frequently aggregated into shopping portals or 'high streets', are becoming increasingly popular with the cash-rich, time-poor generation of new consumers. Often located in densely populated areas, people can find them extremely convenient.
Malcolm is not alone in being impressed by s-commerce. "Some days I just don't have the time to download huge Flash animations of rotating trainers and then wait five days for them to be delivered in the hope that they will actually fit," said Sandra Bailey, a systems analyst from Chelsea.
"This way I can actually complete the transaction in real time and walk away with the goods," she added. Being able to see whether or not shoes and clothing fit has been a real bonus for Bailey. "I used to spend my evenings boxing up gear to return. Sometimes the clothes didn't fit; sometimes they just sent the wrong stuff," she said.
Shops also have a compelling commercial story to tell, according to retail analyst Carl Baker. "There are massive efficiencies in the supply chain," he said. "By concentrating distribution to a series of high-volume outlets in urban centres, typically close to where people live and work, businesses can make dramatic savings in fulfilment costs."
First appeared on uk.internet.com
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