Amazon has announced plans to open its third warehouse in Doncaster next year to strengthen its fulfilment offer. The move will create 500 new permanent jobs.
The online giant already operates two fulfilment centres in Doncaster and says it is now seeking to hire many more people in the region. Roles to be filled include engineering, HR and IT, as well as strategic leadership roles. There will also be a large requirement for staff to fulfil customer orders. The new warehouse will bring Amazon’s overall number of Doncaster employees to 1,000 by the end of 2017.
Amazon, which has faced criticism over pay and conditions of warehouse personnel in the past, has confirmed its new hires in Doncaster would be paid £7.35 an hour, which would rise to £8 an hour or more over their first two years of employment. It also indicated that all permanent fulfilment centre employees are given stock grants, which over the last five years were on average equal to £1,000 or more per year per person.
Employees also benefiting from a “comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, a company pension plan, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals and an employee discount”, according to John Tagawa, Amazon’s vice president of UK Operations.
The internet giant is powering ahead with its strategic planning for Christmas, expecting its busiest festive season ever. To cope with huge volumes a total workforce of 3,500 employees will be in place for this peak.
It’s interesting that press reports covering this new fulfilment centre announcement are focusing on the staff relations aspect of the news. Perhaps this is no surprise, given that Amazon has been criticised for tough working conditions in the past. Transparency is often the best policy in these situations so the etailer has stated clearly the pay levels fulfilment staff can expect, and has made clear the additional perks on offer.
Being the biggest and best puts big retail brands in the media spotlight so Amazon’s PR machine is working effectively to rebuff any disapproval of its practices.
In terms of operational strategy, we think it’s great news for the UK that Amazon is continuing to invest in its fulfilment infrastructure here, in the current post-Brexit climate. We’re also keen to learn what products the new facility will be built to fulfil. Could this new site be geared up for fulfilling food orders for Amazon Fresh? Or will the additional space be used for the fast growing business service Fulfilment by Amazon, which gives sellers access to Amazon’s world-class logistics resources?
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