Just when you think Amazon.com can’t get any bigger, it does.
The ecommerce giant has announced plans for 15 new fulfillment centers this year. The facilities will be located in Washington state, Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee.
This is on top of the 13 distribution centers Amazon opened last year, says company spokesperson Michele Glisson. And with Amazon’s strong growth, she says, “you can expect us to add a few more additional fulfillment centers in time for our holiday peak, but the 15 announced to date represent the majority of 2011 openings.”
Amazon is also expanding an existing fulfillment center in Phoenix. Increasing its distribution network helps get closer to all of its customers to improve the delivery time and customer experience, says
Lee Helman, managing director for investment bank Financo.
Ernie Schell, director of consultancy Marketing Systems Analysis, notes that Amazon uses its fulfillment centers not only for its own vast spectrum of products, but also for its third-party fulfillment service Fulfillment by Amazon. “I’m sure we haven’t seen the full extent of its footprint yet,” he says.
Indeed, says Glisson, “we do expect to add incremental capacity in 2011 to support the high growth rates in our retail business, including [Fulfillment by Amazon] and to support the customer experience.”