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How Will Our High Streets Look In 2036

According to a new report that forecasts how we all could be living in the next 15 years, the businesses of the future could include robot repair shops, bug burger bars, and smart-tech VR travel agents.

The Daily Mail reports that these are some of the predictions of the NatWest Future Business Report, which has been authored by leading futurist Dr Ian Pearson, consumer business guru Kate Hardcastle MBE. The founder of award-winning human-centred innovation lab FutureScape248 Shivvy Jervis, and futurist and author Tom Cheeswright.

The report suggests that in the near future, travel agents may be able to offer tourists a ’try before you fly’ experience via virtual reality experiences, and the daily commute to the office could be in high-speed personal travel pods that beat city congestion.

Protein-rich insects served by ‘bug burger bars’ are predicted to become the fast foods of choice with fried locusts or a greasy worm burger replacing the late-night kebab while artificial intelligence (AI) fashion boutiques could use technology to design perfectly made-to-measure clothes.

The NatWest Future Businesses Report predictions include:

  • Robot rentals, supplies and repairs: As home robots and drones become more common, we could see robotic repair, servicing and hire shops emerging to service and supply robots for home and garden chores.
  • VR travel agents: A new era of local travel experts may bring personalised planning to holidaymakers through virtual reality (VR) with travel agents offering ‘try before you fly’ experiences while booking, with a cocktail in hand.
  • Bug and algae restaurants: Half of Brits (45 per cent) would be open to eating insect and algae-based foods, which is good news as the report predicts we could start seeing ‘Bug Burger Bars’ and ‘Insect Pizzeria’s’ appear on our high streets as a sustainable protein alternative.
  • AI tailors: Fashion boutiques are likely to use AI scanners to create individual ‘made-to-measure’ clothes, reducing the need for retailers to house expensive stock as well as ensuring the perfect fit.

The NatWest Future Businesses Report is available at

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