Thursday, June 7, 2007

Mobile Malls (1981)

The February, 1981 issue of The Futurist featured this illustration of a "mobile mall" of the future. Below are excerpts from the accompanying article.

"It will be the age-old concept of the traveling merchant; but instead of camels or sailing vessels, the retailer of the future will transport his material via superhighway and erect his store on site," says the originator of the retailing on wheels concept, Elinor Selame of Selame Design in Massachusetts.

The advantage of mobile malls lies in their simplicity, economy, and mobility. Retailing on wheels, Selame argues, may be a popular marketing response in an era of shrinking energy supplies and hard-bargaining consumers.

See also:
Online Shopping (1967)


Anonymous said...

My my.. how the internet changes everything :-)

Arkonbey said...

I'm lost as to how erecting, dismantling, moving, then re-erecting a mall would help with "shrinking energy supplies and hard-bargaining consumers"

Anonymous said...

I assume that you wouldn't pick up and move every week; but it would make closing unprofitable locations, opening new ones, and generally shifting to meet market conditions quicker and cheaper.

In a certain sense, this proposal is pretty much what we actually do today, albeit with more interesting design. Most consumer goods are hauled by road and sold from essentially modular stores in essentially interchangeable buildings.

Anonymous said...

arkonbey - you said it all.