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Prime anchor: An Amazon warehouse town dreams of a better life

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Prime anchor: An Amazon warehouse town dreams of a better life
Photo caption:  Empty store fronts in Campbellsville, Ky., on Nov. 13, 2019… (Andrew Spear/The New York Times)

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — In the late 1990s, this central Kentucky town suffered a jolt when its Fruit of the Loom textile plant closed. Thousands of jobs making underwear went to Central America, taking the community’s pride with them. Unemployment hit 28% before an unlikely savior arrived as the century was ending: a madly ambitious startup that let people buy books, movies and music through their computers. Amazon leased a Fruit of the Loom warehouse about a mile from the factory and converted it to a fulfillment center to speed its packages to Indianapolis and Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. Its workers, many of them Fruit veterans, earned less than what the textile work had paid, but the digital excitement was overwhelming. […]

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