That title does make me squirm a bit. I love the “search online – buy offline” model and use it all the time as a consumer, although I’m not a big fan of the common suburbamall.
Last August I mentioned NearbyNow, a company who provides shopping malls with online real-time physical inventory and information. At the time, I believe they just had the Eastridge Mall in San Jose rolled out. Basically, you can find whatever you want online, reserve it and pick it up the same or next day.
A small part of that doesn’t sound like big news, but as Greg Sterling pointed out last October it’s taking NearbyNow about two years to compile something that many industry experts said would take ten.
They just issued a press release that they will be rolling this service out to over 100 cities by November 2007, just in time for the holiday shopping season. One of the cities mentioned is Minnetonka MN, home of my new favorite suburbamall, Ridgedale.
Being able to literally find what you want, viewing the mall map and reserving a product (all online), then picking them up in a matter of hours makes me sold on it.
Just an example and from the current San Jose Mall site… My Dad is 69 years young and is an avid walker. He likes non-flashy clothes and generally wears plain, white walking shoes.
It took me about 20 seconds to find this shoe.
If I wanted to reserve it…
I don’t think my Dad reads this blog. But if so, you’re totally getting other things this year. I’ll change my mind by November.
I generally have around eight people to buy presents for which probably isn’t much, but this will make it easy when the time comes.
So thank you Ridgedale Mall. You have just earned one holiday shopper (that still makes me squirm).