John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Amazon Closes Book on Distribution Centers

Amazon has weathered the recession better than most, but not without a concession… or three.

The retailer said Thursday that it is shuttering a trio of distribution centers in three states and will sack or transfer the 210 employees who work at them. It’s the first time Amazon (AMZN) has closed a warehouse since 2006. Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith described the closures as a balancing of the company’s fulfillment network, but its hard to view that as anything other than a euphemism for belt-tightening when a facility in Munster, Ind. that Amazon opened just a year and a half ago is among the three centers to be closed. Also shutting down: facilities in Red Rock, Nev., and Chambersburg, Pa.

“A variety of factors went into the plan to close these three buildings,” Smith told TechFlash. “We added approximately 3 million square feet of capacity in the North American fulfillment network in 2008, and will be converting a fulfillment center in Phoenix to accommodate our larger items (such as big screen TVs) and adding several hundred thousand sq feet to that facility. This additional capacity allows to the opportunity to better balance product mix and customer orders across the network year-round.”