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Amazon Opening Hundreds Of Facilities During Its Hiring Binge

Retail giant Amazon is undertaking a major expansion of its North America facilities involving the opening of more than 100 buildings in September alone, including fulfillment centers, sorting centers and delivery stations.

The new facilities will come on top of the more than 75 new fulfillment centers, sortation centers, regional air hubs and delivery stations the company has opened in the U.S. and Canada in 2020 so far.

"We've been able to expand the output in our existing facilities as we've had time to implement, learn and iterate on the new process paths we put in place," Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said during Amazon's most recent earnings call in late July.

"As a reminder, Q2 is typically our lightest volume quarter for the retail business. That's not the case this year, but what that's meant is that we can flex into space normally used for second-half peak demand," Olsavsky said. "As we move toward peak in the second half of the year, we will ramp up our space needs even further, and we'll be adding significant fulfillment center and transportation capacity in the second half of the year."

The growth comes with a concurrent spate of hiring by Amazon, which says it plans to hire another 100,000 workers in the United States and Canada to handle the recent surge in online orders. The hires will include full-time and part-time workers.

Amazon added 175,000 warehouse workers in March and April, 125,000 of whom it plans to keep on, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company has also said there are 33,000 vacancies for corporate and technology workers.

Amazon reported last quarter was its strongest ever. Net sales spiked 40% to $88.9B during Q2 2020, compared with $63.4B in Q2 2019. Net income grew to $5.2B in the second quarter, or $10.30/share. That compares with income of $2.6B in Q2 2019, or $5.22/share.

Part of the upward surge in sales included online grocery sales, which tripled in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2019. Amazon responded by increasing grocery delivery capacity by over 160%. It also tripled grocery pickup locations.