he Internet and our cell phones have changed how we shop and our online shopping habits are changing the landscape of our cities and county.

People like to bemoan the construction of warehouses and distribution centers as ugly invaders of local industrial parks and poor substitutes for “real jobs.” It’s important to remember that this is a market driven trend fueled by our growing preference for online shopping.

According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales for the first quarter of 2019 increased by 12.4 percent over the first quarter of 2018. Total retail sales increased just 2.7 percent in the same period.

Total e-commerce sales were $137.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019, 10.2 percent of the nation’s total retail sales. That’s a gradual and consistent upward trend from 2009 when e-commerce retail made up less than 4 percent of total first quarter sales.

Want more retail and fewer warehouses? Commit to going out of your way to shop local and shop retail.

In this day when online shopping is always already in your hand, no matter where you are, supporting local retail means going out of your way. It requires a special effort now more than ever. Now is the time to make that effort.

When scanning warehouse rooftops from the freeways and city streets appreciate that these warehouses do bring jobs, and not just warehouse jobs.

The San Bernardino International Airport has seen impressive growth thanks to cargo flight activity coming to the area, much of it related to online buying. Since 2016 the airport has more than made up the 10,000 jobs lost when Norton Air Force Base was closed. Many of those are good paying aviation and aviation-related careers.

While the jobs created directly at the warehouses are often criticized for being seasonal, those warehouse jobs follow similar seasonal hiring patterns retail jobs would bring.

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