Today: the Maxwell King Center in Melbourne, Florida.
If retail stores no longer require a lot of space (i.e. record stores won’t need to carry thousands of CD since at some point they will simply beam music to your iPod-like wireless device…) – will malls become artist’s spaces in the same the way that lofts in SoHo/NYC became studios and living spaces in the sixties? In 20 years, will people squat in Malls rather than old factory buildings?
If retail space value decreases, will more areas become mixed-usage space – residential AND commercial?
I appeared at the nearby Barnes & Noble to sign CDs and stuff this morning. Was wondering how companies such as Barnes & Noble will change in the future. Seems to me that Barnes & Noble and Tower and Virgin will occupy some middle ground between information center (i.e. knowledgeable sales staff that can help you find the music/book/media you are looking for), cafe (coffee, food, drinks), and ambiance (music/video). Virgin, which wants to appear youthful will still have a DJ blaring loud music. Barnes & Noble will be a little more quiet. They will all have the same items for sale, but people will decide that one store just feels nicer to them than the other. Stores will be smaller and will attempt to distinguish themselves by their color-scheme and furniture – their overall look/design. While 20 years ago the big record stores looked like warehouses, 20 years from now the emphasis will be on the appearance and feel. This will essentially be a shift from having a large selection to branding – the amount of items carried will be immaterial since everything can be accessed via a fat net-pipe or via Terrabytes of storage…