NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The large retail box store of the future tucked somewhere in rural America will appear drastically different to how it looks today. Here is what the future holds for all consumers that enjoy visiting Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) or Best Buy (BBY) on the weekend:
Smaller store size: Supercenters that are under 100,000 square feet (today's size is in a range of 110,000-150,000 square feet) as to reduce rent, employee, and build out costs in order to counterbalance increased sales of lower margin, traffic-driving merchandise.
Online forcefully enters the store: Significant, dedicated square footage inside the supercenter for online order flow. I believe this section will be positioned toward the back of the store as to get people passing the merchandise they didn't buy online and to minimize employee steps from the stockroom.
Disappearing departments: The complete removal of certain categories that don't need to be carried year round in most geographic regions. Investments in inventory and employees are brought down, freeing up capital to invest in technology. Hunting, bicycles, and exercise equipment will be online order only, with mobile devices in the hands of employees aiding in closing sales in these areas.
Leading brands become greater partners: Highly visible shops with top brands. The most powerful brands, such as Sony (SNE), Samsung, and Kellogg (K) will realize they have to stick out in a big way to grab the attention and dollars of consumers walking around with their heads buried in mobile devices. I am already seeing this aisle progression intensify with Starbucks (SBUX).