Cities are costly for shop owners. Today’s invention aims to lessen this problem for bricks-and-mortar retail, by using mobile warehouses.
Shops would be opened containing only counters for a number of different brands on a similar theme (eg clothing).
A customer who needed to see some goods in person, or try them on, would choose from an online catalogue (specifying some sizes and colours. They would be advised about a suitable time window for their visit).
This would alert a fleet of electric trucks within the urban or suburban area. Many of these vehicles would be stopped or in slow moving traffic but they would be designed to have a frugal mode specifically for this cruising behaviour.
Instead of delivering product to one big store, a vehicle would be aware of its own onboard stock and break out of circulation to move towards a shop making active requests (in time to do a drop-off before the customer arrived and to pick up unsold items).
In this way, customers could get back in touch with a wider range of products and store owners need not pay any more for transport whilst reducing their bills for stockroom space.