Forgot the IPod, the future in innovative outreach retail (stores that come to you) may be RPods, (or retail pods).
One of the quiet revolutions in retailing is the movement to take the retail experience out of the mall or shopping strip and move it to the customer, at a time and place that best suits them.
HairPod’s (www.hairpod.net) innovative idea is to create small free standing, two people, ultra stylish retail shops that can be erected and dismantled and moved from one location to the next.
These hairdressing pods are currently configured with a single hairdressers chair, a mirror, water, storage space, and a base suction unit to extract hair, but can be adapted to nail salons, massage therapist or a myriad of other small footprint configuration.
London’s Heathrow Airport is the first location for these retail pods and is specifically catering to the busy executive who wants to make use of his / her plane wait times to have a haircut.
Other retail outreach offerings include the resurgence of the dry cleaning and shoe shining service, which are taking their offerings directly to the busy executives in their offices.
These, and many other retail examples, are rethinking the traditional consumer / retailer paradigm. In some cases they are only offering outreach retailing, in others they are augmenting their on site services to include off site retailing.
The core of each of these outreach retailing innovations is the knowledge that the consumer, especially those that consider themselves to be time poor, welcome and reward your initiative to hunt them down and offer them the products and services they desire, at a time and place that suits them.