Executive Briefings

As Shoppers Shift Online, So Do Jobs

After more than five decades selling women's clothing, Limited Stores Co. filed for bankruptcy early this year and closed its 250 stores nationwide, including several in Southern California malls where dozens of employees lost their jobs.

Limited's exit was part of the seismic change now occurring in retail, in which consumers' accelerating shift to more online shopping is forcing retailers to close their physical stores.

But there's a flipside to the tumult that was apparent three weeks later when Amazon.com Inc., the giant of e-commerce, announced plans for two more sprawling distribution centers in Southern California's Inland Empire east of Los Angeles — generating 2,000 full-time jobs.

As shoppers increasingly move to the Internet world, so too is employment, with Southern California clearly illustrating retail’s dramatic restructuring.

Although there's no discounting the damage done to employees as retail jobs disappear along with stores, other jobs are being created as Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other online retailers erect massive distribution and warehousing centers to handle the growing torrent of e-commerce orders in the region.

"Those communities that have logistics facilities are going to see those sectors grow, simply because of the shift that's occurred from consumers going to the store to going online," said John Husing, chief economist of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

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Limited's exit was part of the seismic change now occurring in retail, in which consumers' accelerating shift to more online shopping is forcing retailers to close their physical stores.

But there's a flipside to the tumult that was apparent three weeks later when Amazon.com Inc., the giant of e-commerce, announced plans for two more sprawling distribution centers in Southern California's Inland Empire east of Los Angeles — generating 2,000 full-time jobs.

As shoppers increasingly move to the Internet world, so too is employment, with Southern California clearly illustrating retail’s dramatic restructuring.

Although there's no discounting the damage done to employees as retail jobs disappear along with stores, other jobs are being created as Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other online retailers erect massive distribution and warehousing centers to handle the growing torrent of e-commerce orders in the region.

"Those communities that have logistics facilities are going to see those sectors grow, simply because of the shift that's occurred from consumers going to the store to going online," said John Husing, chief economist of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.

Read Full Article