While brick-and-mortar stores and other companies grapple with a brutal year, Amazon’s business is hopping — so much so, that the company is looking to add as many as 3,500 new hires across six U.S. cities, it said Tuesday.
According to its blog, the recruitment push will add more “corporate and tech” employees to a range of divisions across the organization ranging from voice assistant development and its cloud business, to grocery, advertising, fashion and more.
“Teams in these cities will support various businesses across Amazon, including AWS, Alexa, Amazon Advertising, Amazon Fashion, OpsTech, and Amazon Fresh, among others,” the company said in its post. “We expect to hire for a variety of roles, from cloud infrastructure architects and software engineers to data scientists, product managers, and user experience designers.”
These new positions will be based in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, New York, Phoenix and San Diego.
The move stands out during an era that has shuttered businesses, triggered a massive jump in unemployment claims and made remote, distributed teams the new workplace culture.
Indeed, as peers and rivals such as Google, Facebook and Twitter hunker down for an extended remote work situation — indefinitely, in the case of Facebook and Twitter — and retail companies look for relief from lease obligations, Amazon seems fine with putting itself on the hook for a major upscaling of corporate real estate. So far, the e-tailer has only extended its work-from-home policy through January.
Think of it as another dimension of its campaign to grow its sprawling empire. Especially in New York.
It’s been a year and a half since Amazon abandoned plans to set up “HQ2” in Long Island City, Queens, but that hasn’t changed its apparent affinity for New York City real estate.
In December, just before the pandemic took hold, the company revealed plans to open an office at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, adding 335,000 square feet to its footprint. And its latest $1 billion purchase of Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue flagship adds another 630,000 square feet. With all that space, naturally Amazon will employ more than half of its new recruits in the borough, which will account for as many as 2,000 openings. The rest will be filled from the remaining five cities.
If Amazon scoops up the spaces left by Sears and J.C. Penney to use as distribution hubs, as has been reported, its operation will have scaled up impressively during a period that threatens others in the retail sector. The company hasn’t confirmed these plans, but it would certainly fit the pattern.
Altogether, these moves are not entirely surprising. Amazon’s already booming business exploded further during the coronavirus crisis, which was expected and confirmed by the company’s earnings results covering the period. But the recurring theme was that the company hadn’t fully capitalized on this influx of activity.
In the second quarter, Amazon’s sales growth jumped a record 40 percent. Meanwhile, its AWS cloud services business reported revenue growth that dropped below 30 percent for the first time. The company was scrambling to meet demand and to institute health safety measures for workers, amid rising costs and priorities on cost efficiencies. There was hardly time to focus on longer-term priorities, which may also include improving discovery on its platform and evolving its fashion business, an area that’s especially challenging now.