Amazon announced plans on Tuesday to close three UK fulfillment centers, potentially affecting up to 1,200 jobs.
Workers at warehouses in Doncaster, Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and Gourock in western Scotland will be affected by this closure and are being offered the opportunity to move to other warehouses.
However, the 300 or so workers at the Gourock site may be out of a job altogether as there is no other Amazon facility nearby.
These three warehouses are among some of the oldest facilities Amazon operates in the UK and the company still plans to open two modern facilities in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, with a potential to employ up to 2,500 workers.
“We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers. As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities, or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfillment centers in 2023,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Amazon Right-Sizing Globally
Amazon is going through its first major “right-sizing” as a company since Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994 as an online bookseller.
Last week, the company announced it would have to cut more jobs than expected as it streamlines its corporate structure to adjust to rising costs due to inflation across the globe.
Meanwhile, the company is also facing more headwinds from its fulfillment center workers. Last year on Black Friday, Amazon employees in more than 30 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany and France, held protests demanding better pay and working conditions.
And on January 25, UK workers at the company’s vast Coventry facility are poised to make history, becoming the first-ever Amazon workers in the UK to go on strike for one day.
Ever since Andy Jassy took the helm as CEO at Amazon, he has been thrown into the deep end of the pool quickly, transitioning the company from the high-flying growth and pandemic years to an inflationary economic environment few expected in 2021.
In many ways, it could be said that Amazon founder and previous CEO Jeff Bezos got out of the day-to-day operations at just the right time.
It is now up to Jassy to figure out how to manage this transitional period at Amazon, and the closure of these older facilities in the UK might be just the beginning of more adjustments in its logistics network.
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