More and more people are shopping online, and that’s not good news for brick-and-mortar retail stores. In response to that movement, many think that physical stores will be extinct in the near future.
Nadia Shouraboura, CEO of the robot-powered apparel company Hointer, disagrees. Speaking on the Future of Retail panel at today’s GeekWire Summit, she said that the argument for the demise of physical retailers is rubbish.
“When you hear that argument, replace the word ‘shopping,’ and ‘retail,’ with the phrase ‘having sex,’” Shouraboura said. “[Shopping and sex] have a lot of similarities. More and more people are going online to have sex — I mean, sex sites are growing faster than Amazon. And, it’s available 24/7. Now, do we really believe that … you can finish the thought.”
That set off a bunch of laughter and lots of applause from the crowd here at the Summit.
“This is why you have women on the panel,” chimed in fellow panelist and Julep CEO Jane Park.
So there you have it — even though you can “do it” online now, people are still having real-life sex. According to Shouraboura, the same goes for the existence of physical retail stores.
Though her analogy was a bit ridiculous, Shouraboura seems to have a good grip on where the future of shopping is headed. Her new company, Hointer, uses robots and mobile devices to find the perfect medium between the benefits of shopping both online and at the actual store. Shouraboura, a former Amazon exec, thinks that her model will change how we shop for clothes.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the GeekWire Summit throughout the day. Head here for a live stream.