Amazon to expand Phoenix fulfillment center, add jobs

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Updated Monday, May 9 at 1:22 PM

Map: Amazon.com fulfillment center

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PHOENIX – With an announced expansion of one of its Phoenix shipping centers, online retail giant Amazon.com is adding more jobs to the Valley marketplace.

Amazon said it will add 400,000 square feet to the West Buckeye Road facility, which opened in 2007. Once the expansion is complete, the fulfillment center – one of three in the Phoenix Metro area – will cover more than 1 million square feet, making it one of Amazon’s larger facilities in North America.

In addition, the expansion will bring Amazon’s Arizona footprint to more than 3 million square feet.

"Over the past four years, we've invested tens of millions of dollars and created hundreds of jobs at our three Phoenix facilities,” said Dave Clark, vice-president, Amazon North America Operations, in a news release. “We look forward to increasing our presence in Arizona with this expansion project, bringing additional dollars and jobs to the state.”

Construction reportedly is slated to begin this month. If all goes according to plan, the addition will be completed and operational by September, which is in plenty of time for the holiday shipping season.

Fulfillment centers like the three in Arizona are where Amazon stores, packages and ships merchandise to online buyers.

According to the careers section of Amazon.com, the company is hiring for a variety of positions at its Arizona facilities. Open positions include jobs in operations, human resources, software development and tech support.

In addition to the hundreds of full-time employees the company has throughout the year, Amazon.com hires hundreds more temporary employees to cover the holiday rush. Last year, the company reportedly hired as many as 5,000 people to work from October to January.

Ongoing tax incentives are likely a big reason for Amazon’s continued expansion in Arizona. The state does not require Amazon.com to collect sales tax from its Arizona buyers.

“We are committed to growth in Arizona because Governor Brewer and other state officials have demonstrated their commitment to Amazon jobs and investment,” said Paul Misener, vice-president, Amazon Global Public Policy, in a news release.

In March, Amazon cut ties with its Illinois affiliates over a  law requiring the company to collect sales tax.

In addition to the Phoenix expansion, Amazon, a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, also plans to open new fulfillment centers in Washington state and Indiana.

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