EXCLUSIVE: Amazon pulls plug on Gloucester warehouse
By Simon Hacker and Mark Owen | 1st March 2023
Amazon has abandoned its Gloucester distribution centre.
The online retailing giant launched the multimillion pound Amazon Logistics warehouse at Centre Severn in Gloucester in autumn 2021, on the promise of creating 20 permanent jobs and 90 delivery driver jobs.
But the online retailing giant has told Punchline today the site has never seen a day's work.
Kerry-Anne Lawlor, UK vice president for Amazon Logistics said at the original launch: "We are excited to invest in the Gloucester area with a new delivery station that will provide efficient delivery for customers, and create new jobs for the talented workforce."
Amazon's U-turn has been made today though, its plan B being to sub-let the purpose-built site which sits alongside the A417.
Built adjacent to the Unilever factory and Premier Inn Hotel at Centre Severn in Barnwood, the 5.3-acre facility was purpose-built and extended to 118,000 square feet, making it an optimum facility for city and regional transport links.
But as Bloomberg reported last year, Amazon's expansion to cater for increased demand of home delivery during the pandemic led to a shockwave for the company as consumer behaviour began to return to normal - leaving the supplier's global redundant space estimated to amount to more than 10m square feet.
In January, Amazon announced plans to close three warehouses in the UK, affecting 1,200 jobs. Its fulfilment centres in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock, in Scotland, have all been earmarked for closure. The employer has offered employment roles at alternative locations.
On the plus side, Amazon is looking to open two major fulfilment centres in the West Midlands and the North East, with the hope of creating 2,500 jobs by 2026.
A spokesman for Amazon confirmed the unoccupied site is not operational and never has been, but that subletting protected the brand's future options.
Amazon said: "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 this, the vacant site in Gloucester will be sub-let."
In addition, Amazon recently stated: "We may close older sites, enhance existing facilities or open new sites, and we've launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023."
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