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Target Propels E-Commerce in Memphis

The establishment of a new Target online distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee, has experts buzzing about the rise of e-commerce in the region.

The retailer announced earlier this month that it plans to build a new online product fulfillment center in the city. The project would not only create hundreds of jobs, but reports say the center would service the entire Southeast – and bring to it a new reason for consumers there to shop online.

Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors’s Patrick Walton told reporters that Target’s announcement will bring big e-commerce business to the area. “I think a name like Target, a Top 50 name, can open up the lid on e-commerce that we haven’t seen here yet, but other markets have seen,” he said, adding that the online shopping distribution center will be the region’s first.

“I think what is happening here is this is more of a region based e-commerce surge,” Walton said. “Typically, e-commerce centers are for same-day or next-day delivery and they’re more market specific, but Target is servicing the whole Southeast.”

Not only will the region have a new reason to shop online, but experts think that Memphis’ geographic location, as well as its infrastructure for distribution and logistics, could encourage more companies to set up distribution shops in the region. According to Walton, e-commerce competitors first focused on the nation’s main markets. Now, they’re moving on to secondary markets, like the Southeast.

“What we believe will happen,” he said, “and this Target deal bears this out, is that now that they’ve built out that first ring, they’re now building out their second concentric ring.”

Target’s new distribution center is expected to open in mid-2015, the company says.

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