The retail shop might be beleaguered in this era of convenient online shopping and free returns, but it’s not dead yet. Far from it: just look at the storefronts operated by formerly online-only brands such as Bonobos, Warby Parker, and Rent the Runway.
But e-commerce has definitively changed the way people shop–and according to one Silicon Valley engineer, retailers are failing to adapt.
Most bricks-and-mortar shops are never going to be able to beat the Amazons of the world at supply chain efficiencies, says Vibhu Norby, formerly a lead engineer at the smart thermostat company Nest. So, he concludes, “the future of retail has to do with discovery and customer relations.”