The History Of Retail In 100 Objects

HoR_100 Objects Cover

I recently edited a book and narrated podcast series called The History of Retail In 100 Objects. It was a partnership with The Store WPP and Intel. It has always concerned me that from the very first transaction, retail has always played a vital part in the fabric of life yet never really been recognised as a major driver of society. In fact the history of retail and social developments are inextricably linked. So… inspired by The British Museum’s, History of the World in 100 Objects, I set out to define the key objects, which over time have had a profound impact on the development of retail.

Arriving at the list of 100 objects has been an enriching experience. It has generated much heated debate with many different perspectives and opinions for the inclusion or exclusion of objects. Our list of 100 objects has been arrived at through collaboration and combining wisdoms – the wisdom of crowds and the wisdom of experts. Using social networks around the globe we first asked for objects to be nominated. We received thousands. An advisory board of experts from different disciplines were invited to help shortlist the most defining objects. I believe that that there will be more change in retail in the next 10 years than there has been in the past 50. So, in conjunction with our partners on this project, Intel and the Intel ‘Futures’ team, we have looked into the future to try to define what objects, not invented yet or commercialised, will have a considerable impact in the years to come. We included seven objects that shed light on where the future is going.

This is the first of many collaborations with Intel to better define the retail future. While the future of retail is uncertain, the one certainty is that the combination of retail, technology, creativity and understanding the changing consumer has never been so intertwined and vital for success.

So starting tomorrow and on every Tuesday  I am going to feature on this blog one object that earned its place in The History Of Retail in 100 Objects.

And if you cant wait for each Tuesday you can download the entire podcast series featuring the story of every 100 Object and the future objects from the link at the bottom of this post.

I am indebted to our Intel partnership team led by Joe Jenson, Jose Avalos, Maroun Ishac, Adrian Whelan, Steve Power Brown, Megan Bednarz and to Brian David Johnson, Director, Future Casting, Interactions and Experience Research Intel.

I hope that you find The History of Retail in 100 Objects and the future objects  interesting and thought provoking.

The future is not what it used to be.

History of Retail