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The iPad 2, just introduced, has taken a turn for the eclectic, and we’re not talking about its music selections and capabilities. We are specifically scrutinizing the new, ready-to-wear app from Glamour enabling consumers to make an immediate purchase from the Gap through the click of a mouse, while watching Glamour Girls, the new TV show tailored especially for the iPad.

According to The New York Times, “€œThis is cracking the code, finding a way to integrate products organically in the storytelling and actually having it be of value to the reader,”€ said William J. Wackermann, senior vice president and publishing director for Condé Nast Publications.

I guess the question is what is going to happen to the retail experience, customer service, point of purchase and in-store events? Are we looking at a future where these are a thing of the past?

And does this app also point to the fact that Americans prefer to live their lives via the click of a mouse from their favorite couch instead of going outside, shopping or even having a live conversation with another human being? (What’€™s next, a McDonalds’€™ app that delivers? That’€™s probably already in the works.)

Although there is immediate gratification of an immediate purchase with the touch of a button for the consumer, the retailer is left with an online matchmaking of sorts. Maybe, sadly, that is just where we are headed.

Having worked at Abercrombie & Fitch when I was still in high school, I understand the hard work and long hours that go into making a store appealing to the customer. So, what happens to us in sales when no one is in the store anymore?

To me, I love the connection that I feel when I walk into Ralph Lauren/Polo on Madison Avenue or Eastern Mountain Sports or my local bakery. You can’t replace that feeling.

Today, there is all this talk of staying connected — more so than ever before, but to me, this trend is exactly the opposite and minimizing interaction with human beings.

Not my cup of tea at all.

Jeremy Brocko

CGPR Intern

March 18, 2011

 

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