THE 21ST CENTURY: SHOPPING

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Indy Lifestyle Online
BRANDING will be everything, with major high street names looking to grab every Euro you slap down on the counter.

"I don't think a lot of companies have really considered how important branding will be in a more fragmented market, with more shopping options," says Ian Christie from the Henley Centre.

Companies like Marks & Spencer, Habitat and The Gap will be aggressive both on the high street and on the Internet and are likely to start building extended families of products and services, all under or closely related to the family name.

At the same time, home delivery will become a huge growth sector with basic groceries, prepared meals, underwear, furniture and flowers all one hour from arriving at your door. Bespoke buying will also be a big feature, particularly in fashion and furniture, where people all want to start distinguishing themselves in an increasingly democratized marketplace. While not everyone is going to be creating products from scratch, retailers will want to create the illusion that consumers can put their own signature on their purchases. The way I see things going, we're going to be looking for everything on the Internet, we'll be browsing for hours and ordering all kinds of products," says Faith Popcorn. "If you want to test drive a Volvo estate, then the dealer will be able to have one in your driveway the next morning, and if you want some Perrier water, then a huge truck will come to your home and fill up your special mineral water holding tank. The future is in bulk and on the Net."

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