In a world of gloom and doom about the future of shopping centers, Westfield London is boldly looking into the future. Westfield’s Destination 2028, which showcases how retail stores will look in a decade, has a futuristic look designed by a retail specialist, a fashion technology innovator, a futurologist and experimental physiologists.
In a decade or so, the experts anticipate walking paths embedded with artificial intelligence, networks of waterways and quiet reading rooms. Magic mirrors and smart changing rooms will drive sales while greenery and mindfulness workshops will soothe the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping mall. And make room for farmers’ markets, giving customers a chance to pick up zucchini along with their Zara and tomatoes with their Tommy Hilfiger.
One innovation might be a bridge too far: The shopping center of the future could include toilets that can detect how well hydrated users are or evaluate nutritional needs based on what’s left in the bowl. If the concept takes off, farmers’ markets will no doubt edge out ice cream and nachos in the food court.