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Amazon to Close Second Old Fulfillment Center

While Amazon continues to open new warehouses around the globe, it is closing its 915,000-square-foot warehouse near Coffeyville, Kansas. This is the second older fulfillment center slated for closure recently. In August, word came that the company would close its Fernley, Nevada warehouse. That warehouse, at 750,000 square feet, is being replaced by a new warehouse complex in Reno.

The Wichita Eagle said hundreds of employees work at the Coffeyville warehouse, at one time employing 1,000 fulltime workers.

State and local officials came up with a package of incentives to try to keep the warehouse open, according to the newspaper. It quoted Aaron Heckman, executive director of Montgomery County Action Council, the county’s economic development agency: “They have made it clear they are not interested in rural America and that is an unfortunate position by Amazon.”

Amazon took over the two warehouses in 1999 – the company is now on its 7th generation of fulfillment center design. The Kansas and Nevada fulfillment centers, along with another located in Campbellsville, Kansas, couldn’t attract enough seasonal workers from the small communities in which they are located, so the company had to turn to “workcampers,” who are temporary, migrant workers who stay in campgrounds near the facility while working at the Amazon facilities.

Stats released by the AP about Amazon’s Nevada warehouse demonstrates how the demand for workers swells seasonally: the newswire said it employs 600 to 900 employees year-round and as many as 4,000 during the holiday season.

Amazon has also been building a new kind of warehouse: sortation centers. The company gave the Seattle Times a tour of one such center, which it said helps it fulfill its Sunday deliveries it now offers thanks to a partnership with the USPS.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.