Source: Amazon

Amazon is to shutter three UK warehouses and replace them with two new distribution centres.

Sites in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock are slated for closure, and staff there will be offered the option to continue their employment at the new locations.

The new fulfilment centres are set to launch in Peddimore, West Midlands, and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. The “state of the art” sites will create 2,500 new jobs over the next three years, Amazon said.

Around 500 employees at Hemel Hempstead will be offered roles at Amazon’s Dunstable fulfilment centre and other locations, and the 400 people working at the Doncaster site in Balby Carr Bank will be transferred to the town’s other two fulfilment centres on Doncaster’s iPort.

Around 300 employees in Gourock will be given the option to relocate to another Amazon site, and offered a “wide range of retraining and reskilling opportunities” should they decide to leave the company.

It is understood Amazon’s online grocery operations – Amazon Fresh – will be minimally affected by the move.

“We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers,” a spokesman for Amazon said. “As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities, or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023.

“All employees affected by site closure consultations will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other facilities, and we remain committed to our customers, employees, and communities across the UK,” the spokesman added.

The announcement comes after Amazon earlier this month revealed it is to shed more than 18,000 workers globally due to an “uncertain and difficult” economic situation.

The e-commerce giant did not share where the job cuts would take place, but it is understood many will be across Europe.

In an update, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company had “hired rapidly over the last several years” but now needed to cut costs.

“Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people expansion mode every year,” he added.

The news comes as Amazon workers in the company’s Coventry warehouse have announced an initial strike date. The “first-ever Amazon strike in the UK” is set to take place later this month, with further dates to be announced by organising union GMB in the coming weeks.