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Could online shopping cost manufacturing jobs?

Another Christmas shopping season ended. Consumer increasingly purchase online vs. from retail stores. How does this permanent shift impact the economy? Hypothetically Target needs a toaster. 5 toasters for 1700 Target stores (8500 total), 100 in 38 Target distribution facilities (3800). So Target buys at least 11,300 toasters. If toaster is only available online, only inventory in the distribution centers is needed…3800. Fewer toasters purchased by Target, shipped to Target, and manufactured by the toaster plant. Fewer parts needed to make the toaster. Fewer toaster boxes, warranty cards, instruction booklets, etc. Now multiply this scenario to ALL the products a store like Target carries – and the impact from this change in customer behavior is significant. What impacts do you think this shift in online purchasing will have? I sure would like to hear it.


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