Death of Chapters? retail media observations Dec 9 2011 by Geoff Peters

Geoff Peters from discusses some trends he is noticing in the retail sector here in Vancouver BC Canada.

Firstly, the Chapters book store has made a dramatic shift away from selling paper books, and is focusing on selling their Kobo e-reader devices, ebooks, as well as high quality (but probably Chinese-made) gift items such as clocks, candles, telescopes, lamps, cheese roasters, etc. These gift items are priced quite high but are probably sourced quite cheaply from prime distributors in China. Similar gift items are available much cheaper at Dollar stores such as Daiso in Richmond. The magazines have been moved to the second floor, and the kids section has grown. The third floor is mostly unchanged and is where most of the fiction books remain.

In this video I also comment on the seeming death of Video rental stores such as the now bankrupt Blockbuster (Rogers Video on Davie is now “under renovation”, but I suspect won’t return as a video store) and the closing of CD/DVD retailers such as the large flagship HMV Store downtown. Note that HMV staff said that people _are_ still buying CD’s, but in much fewer quantities and expect a lower price. so they can’t afford the rent for such a large 3-floor megastore. They are planning on re-opening in a smaller store.

Where will these people work instead? Information work perhaps? But there is also a trend in automating some levels and parts of the traditional information workers’ jobs through reporting tools, eliminating the need for a lot of excel manipulation of data. It remains to be seen if the global economy recovers with the same level of employment as pre-recession.

Perhaps new developments in rapidly-increasing affordability of Solar panels will allow people to throw off their dependence on centralized systems of energy distribution and control.

I am suggesting that these current changes I noted in retail are quite small compared to what might be coming in the future – perhaps there will be fundamental changes to the way the world economy functions when we no longer need to rely on oil production and centralized electricity/energy distribution for our basic energy needs.

See you next time!

Technical notes:
Filmed on a Canon EOS T2i using Magic Lantern, Sigma 30mm F1.4 lens, lapel mic plugged into camera, manual audio gain (via magic lantern). Used Technicolor Cinestyle picture style and applied s-curve using Adobe Premiere RGB Curves tools. Edited with Adobe Premiere CS5.5.2 (fully licensed/legal copy) on a Windows 7 Dell PC (Intel i7 with 16GB ram and USB 3.0 for a faster workflow). Audio was mastered in Audacity (a free audio program).
Lighting: Key light was a 200 Watt household bulb placed in a Can-style video light with a piece of diffusing gel attached, placed directly above, in front of the subject (above the camera). Fill light is a halogen wall light.

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