By Esme Murphy

SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — By next year’s State Fair, marketing experts say the state of retail and grocery shopping in the Twin Cities could be dramatically changed.

Amazon.com‘s massive distribution center in Shakopee is now under construction. When it’s finished, it’s expected to provide same-day delivery of 200 million consumer products.

As Esme Murphy reports, the Internet giant may have local retailers running scared, but Twin Cities consumers are expected to benefit.

Just west of Valleyfair off Highway 101, construction workers have built the framework of an 820,000 square foot distribution center. With just a click, Twin Cities consumers will likely be able to get same day delivery on Amazon’s ever-growing catalog of merchandise.

While Amazon has released few details, this distribution center is expected to open in the summer of 2016 and employ at least 1,000 workers.

“I think Amazon’s overall strategy is getting closer to the customer, faster delivery,” University of St Thomas Marketing Professor David Brennan said.

David Brennan says the distribution center will force other retailers, including Target and Best Buy, to consider home delivery, more in store pickup options and possibly even lower prices. And that’s good news for consumers, especially Amazon shoppers like Thomas Levasseur.

“I think it’s wonderful. I think everything is just going to be online,” he said.

Brennan and other experts say retailers who can’t compete could become victims of the so-called “Amazon Effect,” which has led to some retailers, including Staples, to shut down brick and mortar stores. Amazon has begun providing grocery delivery service in some markets – and if they decide to here – it could lead to a major shakeup in the Twin Cities grocery scene.

“Certainly Amazon is a disruptive influence wherever they are at,” Professor Brennan said.

Amazon has not responded to any specific questions. It isn’t known for sure when the distribution center will be up and running, and whether groceries will be included in its services.

Esme Murphy

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