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A look into how e-commerce distribution patterns are set to evolve over the next few years, from The Wall St Journal. “It’s shopping as infrastructure,” says one expert, as America’s largest cities begin to find their high streets and malls emptying of shops asconsumers go on line at the first instance to purchase goods, and the cities becoming overlaid by a “growing network of e-commerce sites, warehouses and delivery services [that] will function like a utility”. These are not necessarily the vast facilities manned by fleets of robots that Amazon has publicly pioneered, but much smaller sites in smaller light industrial estates or alongside railway sidings: “Industrial corridors that used to be centred around manufacturing—now they’re centred around distribution.”

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