Tomorrow's customers will demand a more personal touch and a wider range of services meeting immediate needs, according to a new report. The Store of the Future ­ a study by the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Group, Europe, and The Store ­ predicts that as shoppers become used to planning meals less, the food retail sector will increasingly need to provide access to food to go and home meal replacements. This will fuel the development of convenience formats and by 2015 there will be a highly professional and competitive c-store sector, dominated by large businesses. To know customers, retailers will need to invest heavily in customer relationship management. Technology will help staff identify individual shoppers, know their preferences and birthday. The store of the future will also play an important role in fulfiling local communities' social needs ­ becoming providers of paid-for nursery care, or turning cafes into community centres or gourmet restaurants. Store managers could even become community leaders. The report predicts that by 2015, some stores won't be able to adapt to change. The most vulnerable will be today's mid-range supermarket, limited by size or accessibility from meeting shoppers' growing demand for immediate food needs. Offering home shopping and completely revamping formats could determine a chain's future success, the report adds Social food shopping could be elevated to the status of leisure activity and people could buy more on the spur of the moment. Meanwhile, store make-up could be changed as many bulky or low margin products could be replaced by branded instore order points. Those which don't engage shoppers will probably disappear from some shop floors and move to an automated warehouse. The Store CEO Maureen Johnson said: "Consumers' shopping behaviour is already changing and technology will enable the store of the future to play a variety of roles in people's lives." {{NEWS }}