Retail stores will completely die by the end of this decade, warned venture capitalist Marc Andreessen in an infamous interview back in 2013. “Retail guys are going to go out of business and ecommerce will become the place everyone buys,” Andreessen told PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy. “You are not going to have a choice…Software eats retail.”
Five years on, while traditional retail has definitely been rocked by online, 90% of sales still take place in brick and mortar stores. At the same time, some of retail’s most interesting experiments are happening in physical locations, turbo-charged by technology. Perhaps LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was right in his blog post response to Andreessen in 2013: “Software will not replace all offline retail, but will be used instead to transform certain offline retail experiences.”
A prime example of bits and bytes transforming brick and mortar is the new Nike by Melrose store which opened last Thursday in Los Angeles.