August 22, 2016
Amazon invests heavily in Britain
Online retail powerhouse Amazon.com is extending its reach into Britain. The company recently announced plans to create 1,500 new jobs in 2017 when it opens a distribution center in Tilbury, a town in the southeast of England.
That’s the second time in recent weeks Amazon has announced growth in England. The company said earlier it would open a fulfillment center in Doncaster, northern England in 2017 as well. This is on top of 3,500 jobs Amazon has promised to bring to England this year, making a total of 5,500 jobs the company will bring to the U.K. in less than two years.
Some complain that jobs in fulfillment and warehousing are low-paying, low-skilled jobs, not the sort of work England needs, but the 3,500 jobs include work in the head office, R&D, customer service, professional photography and web services, not just warehouse jobs.
This commitment to scaled growth is vital to Amazon’s plan in the region, which includes meeting skyrocketing demand and an expansion of its already impressive product line. In addition, Amazon hopes to support a growing number of small businesses who depend on Amazon fulfillment services to make their overhead and inventory manageable.
While the news is good for the most part, Amazon will still deal with common and familiar public relations issues. Any time Amazon enters a market, some brick and mortar businesses suffer. Others close. People lose jobs, some they’ve had for quite some time. It’s a tough reality, but it’s not a new one.
Amazon has to walk the fine line between keeping their ever-expanding customer base happy and protecting its interests while not alienating those who lose their jobs because of Amazon’s move into the marketplace.
Typically, Amazon presents its business model as a forward-thinking shift, meeting the needs of the more mobile and busier consumer base. This excuse doesn’t always play well for folks who no longer have jobs or businesses thanks to Amazon, but the company is quick to suggest they could adapt to what, according to the company, is an inevitable consumer shift. People want convenient online shopping. They also want customer service and brick and mortar experiences.
There’s a place for both. But, as certain brands and stores succeed, others will falter, because there’s not enough customers to go around. That reality makes PR all the more vital, no matter which side of the fence you’re on.