It seems that Amazon.com, Inc. isn’t too concerned about Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Despite Brexit, the U.S. e-commerce giant plans to continue its expansion into the UK. BBC News reported that the e-commerce announced 1,000 new permanent jobs across the UK. The newly-created jobs, spreading across London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leicestershire, are on top of 2,500 new posts that the company announced earlier this year.
UK Expansion Plans
Earlier this year, Amazon announced plans to open two fulfillment centers and create 2,500 permanent jobs in the UK in 2016. The company will open one fulfillment center in Coalville, Leicestershire, where 500 new permanent jobs will be created over three years. Another fulfillment center will be opened in Manchester, where the company plans to create 1,000 new permanent jobs in next three years.
The new 1,000 jobs will bring the total number of Amazon’s full time permanent UK employees to more than 15,500 by the end of this year, according to the report.
“Our sales are in line with expectations. It is business as usual as far as we are concerned,” Doug Carr, head of Amazon UK, said. “We are hiring for all types of roles from software engineers, computer programmers and corporate managers in our R&D centers and head office, to operations managers, engineers, service technicians, HR roles and order fulfillment roles in our fulfillment centers.”
Brexit Impact On Amazon
Earlier, CNBC reported that Brexit would impact Amazon’s expansion plans in the UK. Hiring could become difficult for the U.S.-based online retailer, which relies on low wage immigrant workers to staff its fulfillment centers. The workers may find it harder to work in the UK, according to the report.
Global Equities Research said that Amazon.com, Inc. could face problems in the UK because “Brexit will to lead to higher labor costs, an over-supply in certain skills and a shortage of others.” This will reduce or altogether eliminate profit margins of many businesses — thereby reducing the overall value of the businesses in Britain, Trip Chowdhry, analyst at Global Equities Research, told CNBC.
Last year, the e-commerce company created 10,000 new jobs across Europe. It now employs over 40,000 people across Europe. The online retailer is planning to create several thousand more new jobs in Europe this year. The 10,000 new permanent roles added last represents a 50% increase compared to 2014.
Earlier this year, Amazon said that it is investing to expand its European Fulfilment Network, increase EU-based research and development, and build new infrastructure to support its growing cloud-computing business, among other initiatives.
Over the past six years, the company has invested over £4.6 billion or $6.30 billion in the UK economy to build and run its business. In March, the online retailer announced plans to hire throughout the country — at its head office, research and development centers, customer service centers, and new Amazon Web Services (AWS) UK data centers, currently under construction.
“We don’t know what the impact will be. As far as we’re concerned right now, we’re keeping our heads down and continuing to do what we do. We’ll deal with whatever situation arises,” Carr said.
Recently, Amazon.com, Inc. launched a food delivery service in London. The service, called AmazonFresh, is part of the company’s efforts to expand into Britain’s online market, which is anticipated to nearly double to $25 billion in the five years to 2020.