Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) said Wednesday that it has recently opened or plans to open in 2021 eight fulfillment and delivery operations across Nevada.
The eight facilities will bring to 19 the number of facilities that the Seattle-based e-tailer will operate across the state. Among the new buildings is an 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center in North Las Vegas that will open sometime next year. The center will be the second in the state to use robots to pick and pack smaller items for shipping, Amazon said.
The expansion includes five delivery centers that ship products from fulfillment centers to end customers, according to Amazon. Two of the five, in North Las Vegas and Reno, have already opened. The remaining three, in Henderson, Las Vegas and another Reno facility that will handle deliveries of heavy, bulky goods, will open next year.
In all, the eight sites will result in 2,000 permanent full- and part-time jobs, Amazon said. The North Las Vegas fulfillment center will employ 1,500 of those new hires, Amazon said.
Amazon plans to expand its U.S. fulfillment and delivery capacity by 50% in 2020 as it tries to keep pace with unprecedented e-commerce demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the peak holiday shopping season. Amazon’s peak actually began in mid-October, when the company held its two-day Prime Day online extravaganza, which was held during two days in mid-October after being rescheduled from June.
The massive surge in online orders may level off somewhat if and when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and fully distributed for inoculation. However, virtually everyone expects e-commerce demand to remain highly elevated as millions of consumers, many of whom had never ordered online before the pandemic but found the experience to be relatively easy and convenient, permanently change their buying behavior.
Marc Wulfraat, head of consultancy MWPVL International, said his firm currently projects that, by the end of 2021, Amazon will control 998 buildings and 345 million square feet. That is up from 876 buildings and 296 million square feet as of the end of 2020.
Wulfraat added, however, that his 2021 projections carry only through the end of April. As a result, the year-end 2021 figures will be markedly higher than the firm currently projects, he said.