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Amazon Announces Significant Investment in Vancouver Market

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Seattle-based Amazon has announced a significant investment in the Vancouver area. It includes a new robotics fulfillment centre at the Port of Vancouver, a sort centre in Langley, and three delivery stations in the region. 

The 450,000-square-foot robotics fulfillment centre in the Port of Vancouver — a first in British Columbia — will launch in late 2021. More than 1,000 jobs will be created. In later 2021, a ‘sort centre’ will open in the city of Langley creating more than 500 jobs. In the areas of Pitt Meadows and Delta, delivery stations will open in later 2021 — creating hundreds of jobs at both locations — following the February opening of a delivery station in Langley Township that opened in mid-February creating 200 jobs. 

They will join massive distribution facilities already operating in New Westminster, Delta (Annacis Island), and Tsawwassen.

Amazon says that over the past decade it has invested more than $3 billion in the province of British Columbia. The company currently employs more than 5,500 full and part-time people in the province in operations, corporate, and technology positions — currently the highest number outside of Washington State. Amazon is significantly expanding its presence in downtown Vancouver by leasing more than one million square feet at The Post which is currently under construction. Amazon has already leased space in several downtown office buildings.

Robotic warehouse. Photo: Amazon

In February, Amazon was named one of the province’s top 100 employers. Hourly wages start at $16 and jobs include medical, vision, and dental coverage, a group RRSP plan, stock awards, and performance-based bonuses that start on the first day of employment.

Amazon is said to have one of the most advanced fulfillment networks in the world, and thousands of small and medium-sized businesses already sell on the platform. Many businesses use Fulfillment by Amazon, a ‘you sell it, we ship it’ service that enables local businesses to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centres and use Amazon to ship their orders, handle customer service, and take care of their returns. 

Canadian sellers on Amazon grossed more than $2 billion on Amazon’s stores around the world, and Retail Insider will follow up with a feature article including interviews with several sellers. 

Amazon continues to invest in the Canadian market with new distribution initiatives. That includes a hub near Halifax Nova Scotia as well as a warehouse for the Winnipeg market, according to reports. The retailer is also said to be making further investments in the Toronto market with announcements forthcoming.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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