An Amazon fulfillment center.

Amazon.com isn’t messing around when it comes to expansion in California. The Seattle online retailer today announced that it plans to open a new 1-million square-foot fulfillment center in outside of San Francisco in Tracy, California.

It marks the third announced fulfillment center in California for Amazon, which opened its first facility in San Bernardino just three months ago. Another facility in Patterson is set to open this summer.

The new Amazon fulfillment centers follow a long battle — and eventual compromise — over sales tax collection in the state. Amazon agreed to start collecting sales tax on purchases made via the site last September, ending what The New York Times had called a “an abdication of corporate responsibility” by the online retailer.

Amazon has now added more than 1,000 warehouse jobs in California in the past year, and with he new facility it plans to add even more.

But the company also is pushing towards much more automated facilities, utilizing technology that it purchased from warehouse robot maker Kiva Systems. In today’s press release, Amazon said that employees at the new facility in Tracy will “engage with high-end technology while fulfilling customer orders.”

The new California operations also will likely raise speculation about Amazon’s same-day delivery operations. Putting warehouses closer to population centers means that the company can effectively delivery products faster, A number of Amazon rivals tested same-day delivery operations this past holiday season.

Amazon CFO Thomas Szutak downplayed his company’s efforts for same-day delivery  in a conference call with analysts last July. He said:

“In terms of delivery speed to customers, we are certainly trying to get geographically … and always trying to get closer to customers. That’s something that is not new. It is something we’ve been doing for some time. But, in terms of same-day, we don’t really see a way to do same-day delivery on a broad-scale economically. But, again, we will continue to work on behalf of customers to figure out a way to serve them by getting them product faster.”

The new facility — about 55 miles outside of San Francisco — will be built on 90 acres. Tracy Mayor Brent Ives called the new fulfillment center  “a wonderful addition to our economic base,” while San Joaquin Partnership CEO Mike Ammann said they are excited by Amazon’s “major investment in a state of the art automated technology fulfillment center.” 

Comments

  • Thomas R.

    Totally off topic, but was thinking it’d be nice to see more coverage and opinion from you and the rest of the Geekwire team on startups on the Seattle Startup Index.

    Will they succeed? Why are they interesting? How are they going to change the world? Who’s backing them? What do you and Todd think?

    And maybe more coverage of the people who are backing all these startups: Geoff Entress, Chris DeVore, Madrona, Maveron, Ignition, etc. Who are these people, what are their successes and failures, what startups are they investing in, what trends do they see, etc.

    Perhaps a monthly top 10 most interesting, most innovative, fastest growing etc. And I enjoy reading Startup of the Week, but it’d be nice to see more concise pieces with your professional assessment and not so much PR fluff from the founders. You’ve been covering the local scene for years now and it’d be nice to hear more from you and Todd.

    • johnhcook

      Thanks for the comment Thomas. I absolutely agree, and stay tuned for more of our analysis and opinion in the coming months. We’d love to do more columnizing, and haven’t as much as we would like in part because of some exciting work we’ve been doing on the business of GeekWire, like the launch of our new annual pass program last week. We’ve got a lot of other cool things in the works too, so stay tuned.

      It is really helpful to hear this feedback, and the prodding makes us want to pursue these ideas even more. So, a big thanks for that!! It also sparked an idea for us to cover the GeekWire 200 Index in a more creative way.

      In terms of talking to investors and learning more about them, I’ve started to routinely feature angel investors in the community who are placing bets Check those features out here on Rudy Gadre, Andrew Wright and Eric Michelman.

      http://www.geekwire.com/2012/meet-rudy-gadre-facebook-amazon-general-counsel-lighting-seattles-angel-market-fire/

      http://www.geekwire.com/2012/smilebox-founder-andrew-wright-hangs-shingle-seattles-latest-angel-investor/

      http://www.geekwire.com/2012/angel-spotlight-eric-michelman/

      Those aren’t opinion pieces per se, but they are Q&As where we get to know angels, some folks who are writing checks that may not be as well known as the Ignitions or Madronas of the world.

      Anyway, I’m going to take your advice to heart and make more opinion and analysis a priority, and I’d also suggest that others who want to share their opinions via a guest post also weigh in too. Thanks again for tuning in to GeekWire.

  • Sylvia Rodriguez

    Where or how do we apply for the Amazon jobs?

  • Yosshua Herrera

    Someone can please tell me an adress of an amazon store in california state please

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