The retail industry is undergoing a major transformation. More brick-and-mortar stores might shut their doors in 2017 — upwards of 8,600 — than ever before, according to brokerage firm Credit Suisse.

Consumers haven’t stopped spending money, they’ve just found a different way to do it — online shopping. Tech-savvy millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history, so their buying preferences are simply changing the way retailers operate. This demographic prefers the convenience of shopping online to the hassle of going to a physical location, so retailers either need to move much — or all of their business online — or risk shuttering entirely.

At first glance, stores closing up shop might cause you to think the warehouse industry is in trouble, but that’s not the case at all. Changes will need to be made, but the need for warehouse professionals is still very much there. Take a look at some of the ways ecommerce is affecting warehouses and distribution centers across the U.S.

  1. Rise of Urban Logistics Facilities

Customers expect online orders to swiftly arrive on their doorstep, so companies will need to invest in more warehouses. This could involve the creation of additional regional hubs, but the Deloitte report “The Shed of the Future E-Commerce: Its Impact on Warehouses” said smaller urban logistics facilities might also rise in popularity. Convenience is paramount, and these facilities are located near both residential and business customers.

  1. Need for Increased Warehouse Flexibility

Trends quickly come and go, so warehouse spaces must be able to cater to demand. Physical storefronts only get so much foot traffic, but online retailers have no limitations. Consequently, the Deloitte report noted that companies will need to invest in warehouse facilities that offer the flexibility to quickly adapt to ever-changing conditions.

  1. Demand for Workers Around the Clock

For many companies, staffing warehouses 24/7 is nothing new, but others will need to adjust to the always-open factor of online shopping. Customers shop at all times of day, so employees need to be on hand to fulfill orders and ship them out, to ensure a speedy delivery. The Deloitte report highlights the fact that companies with urban logistics facilities might face resistance from neighbors if the business is open all night. Distribution centers are traditionally located in industrial areas, so this is an issue company leadership will need to tackle.

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