Why Amazon's Building Binge Has Just Begun
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
The most enduring sounds of the past holiday season may have been those of a van squeaking to a stop at the mailbox, followed by the thud of a box being delivered at the porch. It was an Amazon Christmas.
Amazon, which began 2020 as a mere juggernaut, enters 2021 a monolith. Consider the fact that during a year of severe job cuts throughout most of the economy, Amazon hired on average of 1,400 people a day from January to October. The company’s unrivaled pace of hiring doubled during the second half of the year as the full onset of the COVID-19 pandemic propelled online sales of historic proportions; beginning in July and through October, the company on-boarded some 350,000 employees, or 2,800 a day.
Amazon’s hiring spree supports a building binge that is, likewise, breathtaking. In late July, the company announced that its fulfillment and logistics square footage would grow by more than 50% for the calendar year. Through the first three quarters, it invested $30 billion in capital expenditures and leases. In September alone, the company opened 100 new distribution centers.