Amazon.com continues to expand its headquarters in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. But the online retailer also has plans in the burbs. The company announced that it will open a massive fulfillment center in Sumner, a 500,000 square foot warehouse facility with capacity for several hundred workers.
The fulfillment center is one of many that Amazon.com hopes to open this year. In a recent call with financial analysts, the company said that it may build more than its originally planned nine centers. Last year, the company opened 13 fulfillment centers.
The news of the Sumner facility comes amid a serious hiring boom at Amazon.com. The company added 4,200 employees in the last quarter, growing by more than 12 percent to 37,900 employees.
Amazon already operates more than 50 fulfillment centers worldwide, warehouse spaces where the company holds inventory for shipment. But the company altered its course over a backlash in recent weeks related tax issues, with Amazon canceling plans for a new fulfillment center in South Carolina. That facility would have employed more than 1,200 people in the state.
The online retailer also pulled the plug on a distribution facility near Dallas and canceled expansion plans for other locations in the state after Texas officials said the company owed $269 million in uncollected sales taxes. Late last month, Amazon.com disclosed that the SEC was investigating the tax issues in Texas.
Even though Amazon continues to fight with states over sales tax collection, the company isn’t slowing down. Last week, the company issued a series of announcements discussing growth plans at fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and other locations.
Amazon.com isn’t the only local retailer with operations in Sumner. REI has operated a fulfillment center in the town — located just east of Tacoma — for a number of years.
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow in a press release. “Not only do people in Sumner and eastern Pierce County need jobs, but they need quality jobs close to home from good employers. Amazon fits that bill beautifully.”