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new amazon fulfilment centre heralds excitement for our open space team.



Online retailer Amazon has a strong presence in the lives of most British people. Whether it's watching programmes on Amazon Prime, controlling your home heating and lights via your Alexa phone app or listening to your favourite radio station on an Echo device, Amazon's reach has gone way beyond that which anybody could ever have imagined when the retailer pioneered its own parcel delivery company. 

However, the parcel delivery element is what has caught the attention of our Open Space team this last week, as news has emerged that the internet giant plans to invest over half a million pounds in a new 2 million square foot fulfilment centre in the East Midlands.

What is a fulfilment centre?

Essentially, it's a very clever, very large, highly automated facility. Amazon's first major investment in the UK since 2022 will be a three storey tall warehouse, in which goods will be stored and customer orders picked, packed and posted using next-gen robotics and other forms of advanced technology.

Why is this fulfilment centre so exciting?

It has been reported that this new fulfilment centre, which will become fully operational in 2026, will utilise building management systems to create and maintain a comfortable and energy efficient working environment. Amazon has pledged to power its operations entirely with renewable energy sources by 2025, so this new fulfilment centre will not only be immense, purpose-designed and packed with technology, but also incredibly sustainable.

Amazon is committed to creating logistics facilities that provide meaningful employment to people in the local area in functions such as construction and engineering, health and safety, IT, business management, project management and administration. In total, it is expected that this new facility will provide employment for 2000 people once it is fully up and running.

Why is Amazon targeting investment in the East Midlands?

Amazon's business model requires that it be intrinsically connected to its selling partners, many of whom are small and medium sized enterprises, and more than 6000 of these businesses are located within the East Midlands area. 

The opportunity to secure space in the SEGRO Logistics Park in Northampton was too attractive to pass up, due to its size and proximity to the M1, and so work will shortly begin to create this new, state of the art facility. 

How will the site operate?

Unlike a typical warehouse, in which goods are simply stored until they are collected by a third party logistics provider, a fulfilment centre provides a host of other functions, including inventory management, transportation, customer service and order fulfilment.

Fulfilment centres are often centrally operated to satisfy the needs of multiple customers, however this one will be different. As Amazon is such a large operation, it is able to manage all elements of its business without the need to outsource particular functions. It will source products from its selling partners, store them and perform all necessary inventory management functions and stock control, identify the correct products to satisfy customer orders, pack, label and ship all from the same building.

The new Northampton facility will become Amazon's 40th UK-based fulfilment centre and joint largest alongside Tilbury. Strategically located nearby to the River Thames and boasting 2 million square feet of logistics space, the Tilbury facility has thus far been described as the crown jewel in Amazon's UK stronghold. It is hugely exciting, therefore, that the new East Midlands development is of equal size as it will certainly have a huge impact on the retailer's position in the marketplace.

Open Space job opportunities

With Amazon's latest investment signalling strong confidence in a strengthening economy and a relaxation on customer spending, we anticipate that other retailers will begin assessing their investment decisions and making strategic decisions with regard to their infrastructure and facilities. 

If your business wants to be ready for a potential upsurge in warehousing builds and refits, please contact Build Space today. Our Open Space team can access the talent that your business will need to create a persuasive bid that will gain you the contracts you need to enable rapid business growth. So, if your business ambitions outstrip the capacity of your existing workforce, talk to us about deploying experienced project professionals on temporary or permanent contracts, delivering expert support when you need it most.

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