Many believe the end of storefront retail is on the horizon, for some it is probably true, others it is only the beginning. The retail shops that will fail will be the ones who do not embrace online shopping and next day shipping, the ones who thrive will not only embrace buying online but make that the only option for purchasing.
Not all products are created the same, a pharmacy needs to have medicine in stock, grocery stores should have groceries, and a gas station should have fuel. However this may not be the case for products that have a large price tag or are complicated to setup and use.
A future retail storefront will allow you to not only test, play, and ask question on the product, but also have informative sales reps that make the store visit an enjoyable and entertaining experience. After choosing the product you want, it will be shipped that day and arrive the next. Without inventory the store can focus solely on experience and information.
The location and architecture of these stores will be accomadating to the type of product sold, I picture a Kayak niche store to be located on a river or creek. A home appliance/furniture store to be designed to look like a house, etc..