Amazon has announced plans to close three of its 30-plus UK warehouses, affecting 1,200 jobs.
Workers from the facilities in Doncaster, Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and Gourock in western Scotland will be offered roles at other Amazon locations.
It is thought unlikely that many of the 300 workers at the Gourock site will want to move as there is no other Amazon site nearby, as is the case with the Doncaster and Hertfordshire factories.
The closure of the older sites comes as Amazon prepares to open new delivery warehouses in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, which will employ 2,500 people.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company remained “committed to our customers, employees and communities across the UK”.
“We are always evaluating our network to ensure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers. As part of this effort, we may close legacy sites, improve existing facilities or open new sites, and we have launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfillment centers in 2023, the spokesperson said.
The potential job losses come after Amazon announced last week that it planned to cut 18,000 jobs around the world – most of them in its headquarters – in an effort to become more efficient under Andrew Jassy, who took over as chief executive director in the summer of 2021.
The changes come as buyers limit consumption and the online store faces an uncertain economy globally. The company has also hired staff in recent years as it has expanded into new fields, including grocery, private label technology and fashion.
Costs at Amazon’s warehouse and delivery operations have risen as a shortage of workers, particularly for skilled roles such as forklift and heavy truck drivers, has forced the company to raise wages.
Workers at the company’s huge depot in Coventry are poised to go on strike on January 25 to demand £15 an hour wages, after securing a historic yes in an industrial action ballot.