What If All Stores Were Like the Old Service Merchandise?

What if

It’s here, or will be soon—the store of the future. Stores will be showrooms and customers can pick and choose the items they want, and associates retrieve the purchased items from the warehouse at the back of the store for shoppers to take home and enjoy. Consumers liked this concept when it was called, “Service Merchandise”. Some people may say, “They closed!” But you know, in retail, timing is everything. With the Internet, BOPIS and shipping from store to home being the call of the day, good old Service Merchandise is starting to look like a great idea that was ahead of its time. Just ask Argos, UK—they’ve got a few test stores like this open now that are going gangbusters.



  • I loved Service Merchandise, both as a consumer, and as a retail competitor. I said just recently to another long time retailer, “Isn’t it ironic that Service Merchandise was merely a few decades ahead of its time?” Pretty soon all of retail will either be Service Merchandise or Starbucks. There will be no in between.

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