Amazon.com continues its march across the country, announcing new fulfillment centers to handle the shipping and distribution of goods. The online retailer today announced plans to open new centers in Arizona and Indiana, adding about 1.4 million square feet of warehouse space to the mix. The news comes as Amazon.com duels with other states — including Tennessee — about sales tax collection.
In fact, Amazon recently pulled the plug on distribution centers in South Carolina and Texas after those states indicated that the online retailer should have to collect sales tax on goods sold there. A similar legislative battle is going on in Tennessee, with an Amazon official telling the Chattanooga Free Times Press last week that they could move to Indiana where they are welcome.
In fact, the new Indiana facility — set to open this summer — is among the biggest at the online retailer at about 900,000 square feet. It will be Amazon’s third fulfillment center in the state.
“We are committed to growth in Indiana because Governor Daniels and other state officials have demonstrated their commitment to Amazon jobs and investment,” said Paul Misener, vice-president, Amazon Global Public Policy.
Misener is the same person who told the Chattanooga newspaper that they could just as easily move to Indiana. But the battle in Tennessee appears to be heating up.
The Chattanooga newspaper reported yesterday that Amazon.com is now considering building three fulfillment centers in Tennessee, spending as much as $180 million and employing up to 1,700 workers in the state. That move could put more pressure on politicians in the state to play ball, even though some Republican legislators argue that Amazon should be forced to collect sales tax on goods sold in Tennessee.
Last week, Amazon.com also announced plans to open a new 500,000 square feet distribution facility in Sumner, Washington.
Amazon.com opened 13 fulfillment centers last year, and it plans to open at least nine this year. It currently operates more than 50 centers worldwide.