Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Quickening of Stuff; Ita[euro][TM]s in with the New and Back Again with the Old

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Quickening of Stuff; Ita[euro][TM]s in with the New and Back Again with the Old

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Hawkes

WHAT does the future look like? And what products and services that we love now will be gone?

The Futures Foundation is a Melbourne-based organisation that provides tools to help individuals and businesses today in preparing a more ideal tomorrow.

Charles Brass of the Futures Foundation says the sheer number of people who now inhabit the planet and the collective brainpower means that things are changing faster than ever before.

And, as we think of bigger and better things, weare discarding devices or services we used to consider part of our daily life.

Think about fax machines. Theyave pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur.

Or landlines. Yes, many people still have one but mobile phones have slowly taken over.

Other victims of our progress a cameras that use film, leaded petrol and common old cash. Yes, cash. How often do you actually get some of it out rather than use your debit or credit card at EFTPOS card or Visa, or buy online?

According to Charles, the physical process of shopping is also diminishing all over the place.

aThere is still a role for stores, especially those who offer great guidance or service,a he says.

aBut if itas just about picking up a product, online shopping is taking over.a

The message for stores: make sure you woo customers with terrific staff and service, and know what customers want.

Part of that, according to www.trendwatching.com, includes brands that pro-actively show they have a conscience, products from emerging markets, products that can be given back to nature to grow or make something new and products that are made domestically.

Even though more and more of us are downloading content, just like great boutiques Charles believes that just as there is a place for great boutiques thereas a place for DVD stores too.

aServices like Netflix will send you a video in a format your computer can read and, increasingly, that computer is connected to your TV,a he says.

aBut there is still a market for DVDs with special features and the older generation also likes to pick up a physical product.a

As for record stores a aagain they are diminishing, but specialist stores for collectors and those who cater to the retro market are also springing upa. …

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