menu

Grant McCracken: The Reclocking of America (and the Death of the Mall)

Grant McCracken: The Reclocking of America (and the Death of the Mall)
Advertising

Historian E.P. Thompson suggested that as industrial capitalism took hold in the West, we began to organize time in new ways. A ritual cycle was replaced by a model in which leisure days were fewer and more concentrated. The West was being, in effect, reclocked.

Grant McCracken, Cultureby
  • 10 december 2010

The English historian E.P. Thompson suggested that as industrial capitalism took hold in the West, we began to organize time in new ways.   A ritual cycle with lots of saints days and religious celebrations was replaced by a model in which leisure days were fewer and more concentrated (on the weekend, in the summer, etc.)  The West was being, in effect, reclocked.  (My term, not his.)

Surely, post-industrial capitalism is having this effect as well.  I believe we are cultivated a “just-in-time” model that says we prefer to dispatch things the moment they “come up.”  We are disinclined to keep a to-do list.

This means that when I think of something I want to say to someone, I much prefer to write an email.  I really do not want to make a phone call.  This is because I can dispatch the task as part of my immediate work flow.  More importantly, the email “stacks” at her end, allowing her “to get to it when she gets to it.”  (A phone call demands she stop what’s she’s doing, to field the call or the message.)

This extends to our buying behavior.  The old model of retail says, in effect, “you come to us.”  You, the buyer, must stop what you are doing and come to the mall, the high street, the retail outlet.  The trip there is time consuming.  Parking is almost always a high stress exercise.  The place is crowded.  The choices too numerous.  The undertaking mostly joyless.

How better it is to visit Amazon.com and make the purchase in our “work flow.”  Amazon then takes care of virtually every thing else, and the package stacks, quite literally, on our door step.  It’s ready when we are.  Not the other way round.

In this model, we organize our time into one continuous flow.  This means, as others have noted, that we weave public and private time together, work and personal life blur.  But it also means that we dispatch in real time, stacking messages and purchases as we go.

This spells the end of retail as we know it.

Continue reading…

Grant-PSFKBanner1

Image by Veer.

Veer has recently relaunched its site, Veer.com, with a simplified, easy to use interface allowing for enhanced and simplified image search.  The site, which is a go-to source for creative and affordable stock photography, illustrations, fonts and merchandise, helps people add style to business, marketing, and personal design projects.

Advertising
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Arts & Culture Today

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed

Retail Today

Snapchat Reveals A Striking Pair Of Video-Recording Sunglasses

Spectacles make memories from your perspective and transfer them to the app

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Fashion Today

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

Related Expert

Lynn Casey

Branding, Digital Marketing, Media Relations

Design Today

Concept Artists And Scientists Form Partnership To Visualize The Future

The collaboration hopes to liberate ideas and innovations trapped in notebooks

Automotive Today

Uber Could Be Bringing Vertical Takeoff Transport To Your City

The ridesharing app is looking into the development of nimble aircraft for urban environments

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be

Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Yesterday

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

No search results found.