Wei Qi – Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Canada
Urban open space emerges as a new territory to embrace retail innovations. Selling products in public spaces with autonomous wheeled vending stalls can potentially become ubiquitous in our future cities. Transition into such a "stall economy" paradigm is being spurred by the recent global pandemic, but has been scarcely studied. This paper provides models, algorithms, and managerial insights to understand how to deploy and operate wheeled stalls in cities to scale up the stall economy. In a broader sense, this work demonstrates an expanded scope of retail operations reshaped by the pandemic and big data.