Belfast Telegraph

Amazon reveals new warehouse plans on back of online shopping spike

Amazon has announced plans to open a new warehouse in Tilbury next spring, creating 1,500 jobs, amid a spike in online shopping.

It brings Amazon's job creation tally to 2,000 for 2017, and follows last week's announcement of another warehouse opening in Doncaster.

Amazon said the new site in Essex would help them support small businesses and meet growing customer demand across the UK, and its expansion appeared to be in lock-step with UK spending habits.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the amount that UK shoppers spent online in July surged 16.7% compared with last year and 1.2% from a month earlier.

"The online market now accounts for 14.2% of all retail sales, 1.6 percentage points more than 12 months ago," Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said.

"Not only does this indicate a step up in online spending, but retailers also appear to be on the right path when it comes to engaging with the online consumer."

Tilbury will be the retailer's 13th warehouse in Britain, adding to fulfilment centres in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Swansea Bay.

The company said it had invested more than £4.6 billion in the UK economy since 2010, and would now be scouting out operations managers, engineers, HR and IT workers for the new site.

This year alone, the online giant will create 3,500 positions.

Amazon, which has come under fire over pay and warehouse working conditions, has pledged to provide benefits like stock grants alongside competitive pay for new hires which will rise to £9 per hour after two years' service.

While the pending Doncaster site will offer £7.35 per hour or more to start, an Amazon representative said that the starting rate for the Tilbury fulfilment centre had not yet been finalised.