Hidden in a secret location deep inside the Carousel Center mall is what Destiny USA officials believe is the future of the retail industry.
A 1,000-square-foot room with translucent flooring contains what appears to be a small clothing store with just two products — T-shirts and cloth handbags with the words “Surrender the past” printed on them. But what makes the “store” unique isn’t the see-through floor. It’s the technology behind the walls, under the shelves and attached to each T-shirt and handbag.
Through the use of a radio frequency identification system, the store can track what products a customer picks up, instantly send detailed information and customer reviews of those products to the shopper’s iPhone, and make suggestions, via nearby computer screens, of other products that might interest the customer.
The system even tracks customers as they walk through the store and displays on the computer screens items, in their size and preferred fabrics, that they might want to consider, based on their past shopping habits.
At the self-checkout desk, the customer just drops merchandise on the desk and an antenna built into the desk picks up a radio signal from a sticker attached to each of the items and rings them up. There are no UPC symbols to scan.
The customer swipes a credit card through a reader and the sale is complete.