The other side of e-commerce: Spreetail to hire hundreds

Spreetail, an e-commerce company located at Nebraska Innovation Campus, is looking to hire 400 people over the next three years.

E-commerce has become a dirty word in many circles, with people blaming online shopping for killing everything from the mom-and-pop corner store to their favorite mall chain.

So far this year, Radio Shack, Vanity, Family Christian Stores and Rue 21 have all either closed stores in Lincoln or announced plans to do so. And other chains, including Sears, J.C. Penney, Gordmans and Payless ShoeSource, have announced store closings elsewhere in Nebraska.

Though those companies have various issues fueling their decline, one common thread is changing shopping habits and the increased competition from online shopping.

Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, recently agreed to start collecting sales taxes on purchases made by Nebraska residents, but in the years before when it didn't, the Nebraska Retail Federation estimated that state lost more than 2,000 retail jobs as a direct result of those Amazon sales.

But there is another side to that e-commerce coin. Companies involved in the industry are growing like crazy. Amazon announced earlier this year that it plans to hire 100,000 people over the next 18 months.

Spreetail is seeing a similar pattern, although on a much smaller scale.

The Lincoln-based e-commerce company, which already was growing at a pretty healthy clip, is seeing its growth accelerate.

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