Ama­zon to open cen­tre out­side city

Dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre and HQ2 are sep­a­rate plans: Com­pany

StarMetro Calgary - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - Aaron chatha Metro | Cal­gary

It’s not HQ2, but Cal­gar­i­ans will be able to board the Ama­zon job train as the e-com­merce gi­ant will be open­ing a ful­fil­ment cen­tre in Rocky View County, near Cross­iron Mall.

The fa­cil­ity, ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2018, will cre­ate 750 jobs in re­ceiv­ing, ship­ping, in­ven­tory, sup­port and more. It will be Ama­zon’s sev­enth ful­fil­ment cen­tre in Canada.

“Our as­so­ci­ates will ful­fil cus­tomer or­ders rang­ing from avi­a­tor sun­glasses to ze­bra cos­tumes,” said Glenn Som­merville, direc­tor of op­er­a­tions, Ama­zon Canada. “And we’ll be able to do so at even faster ship­ping speeds.”

Yes, this means some Ama- zon or­ders may reach Cal­gar­i­ans in less time than be­fore.

This ful­fil­ment cen­tre is the re­sult of con­nec­tions cre­ated by Cal­gary Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Rocky View County. Ama­zon prom­ises it will be com­pet­i­tive wages, with ben­e­fits.

Som­merville also said Ama­zon sup­ports em­ploy­ees by help­ing to pay for their school­ing — re­gard­less of whether the de­gree is re­lated to their cur­rent Ama­zon job.

“We want to be a good neigh­bour, a good em­ployer, and a good eco­nomic driver for the re­gion,” Som­merville added. He hopes to use lo­cal sup­pli­ers when pos­si­ble as well.

Ama­zon them­selves will see some of the low­est cor­po­rate taxes in all of Canada.

They’ve leased a 42-acre site, and the fa­cil­ity will en­com­pass about six city blocks in size. The lo­ca­tion was cho­sen out of a need to meet cus­tomer de­mand in West­ern Canada.

“The last few years have not been easy,” said Premier Rachel Not­ley. “The drop in oil prices hit us hard, but un­der­scored that we need to do more to di­ver­sify our econ­omy and cre­ate new jobs. And that’s what to­day is all about.”

It re­mains to be seen if the ful­fil­ment cen­tre will help or hin­der Cal­gary’s bid for Ama­zon’s sec­ond head­quar­ters. Not­ley in­di­cated, at the very least, it in­di­cates that Ama­zon is aware Cal­gary is a player in the game.

At the same time, Ash­ley Robinson, spokesper­son for Ama­zon op­er­a­tions, said the ful­fil­ment cen­tre and HQ2 are two very sep­a­rate is­sues, with a dif­fer­ent set of de­mands and pri­or­i­ties.

Ama­zon is ex­pected to make its de­ci­sion about HQ2 in 2018.

our as­so­ci­ates will ful­fil cus­tomer or­ders rang­ing from avi­a­tor sun­glasses to ze­bra cos­tumes. And we’ll be able to do so at even faster ship­ping speeds.

Glenn Som­merville

AAron ChAthA/Metro

Ama­zon is open­ing a large dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre just north of cal­gary in Balzac, and it’s ex­pected to cre­ate 750 full-time jobs.

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