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Amazon to open a new warehouse in Martorelles, its fifth investment in Catalonia

The logistics centre, which will open in the autumn, will create 650 jobs over the next three years and will occupy an area of 30,000 square meters

This autumn Amazon will open another logistics centre in Catalonia. The American company will open a 30,000 square-meter warehouse in Martorelles, its fifth investment in Catalonia, following the announcement early last month that it is to open a support centre for SMEs in Barcelona, resulting in the creation of 500 new jobs between now and 2019. The logistics centre in Martorelles is an existing building that the e-commerce giant is renovating. The new warehouse will create 650 jobs over the next three years.

Unlike Amazon’s other facilities, such as its Castellbisbal centre, which is dedicated to its Amazon Pantry supermarket service, the new warehouse will not focus on one specific area. Instead it will be more generic, with all manner of products, similar to the one  which the company is building in El Prat de Llobregat. The Martorelles centre will begin operations in the autumn with a staff of 200, coinciding with the opening of its El Prat facility, which will begin sending packages on 4 October. The recruitment process for the different types of employees required for the new centre will begin in the coming months.

According to Amazon, their new investment will allow them to respond to a "growing demand" for its European websites and widen the availability of the products in its warehouses. In terms of its location, the company has chosen Martorelles because this town in the Vallès Oriental area is close to key markets in southern Europe and it has access to "excellent human capital". Fred Pattje, Amazon’s Director of Operations for Spain and Italy stated that "The Martorelles facility will support the international expansion of a growing number of companies, many of them small local businesses that sell their products through Amazon". The warehouse will form part of Amazon’s European logistics network, which consists of 31 centres located in seven countries.

The Mayor of Martorelles, Marc Candela, welcomed Amazon’s decision to locate itself in the Can Toca Business Park. He claimed the park would see a return to "levels of occupation equivalent to what was achieved before the economic crisis". The Catalan Government’s Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget also praised the announcement, seeing it as "consolidating Amazon’s commitment to Catalonia as a strategic hub in the European logistics sector". He stressed the fact that the company has chosen Catalonia as its "preferred location" for their investments in southern Europe and the Mediterranean. In addition, Baiget dismissed fears of an exodus of investments, claiming that the new store is proof of Catalonia’s appeal for foreign projects.

In total Amazon’s facilities in Catalonia will employ 2,500 workers in the community, apart from busy periods such as Christmas, when they will hire more temporary staff. The Seattle-based company has invested over 200 million euros in the 63,000 square-meter warehouse in El Prat, which will employ 1,500 people over the next three years. Furthermore, Amazon also has a logistics centre for its Prime Now ultrafast delivery service in Barcelona. Outside Catalonia, the company has another Prime Now warehouse in Madrid and a logistics centre similar to the El Prat facility in San Fernando de Henares, Amazon’s first investment in logistics in Spain.

Amazon BuyVip to close

In related news, the company also confirmed the closure of its Spanish cut-price shopping website BuyVip, which will be absorbed by Amazon. The business was no longer profitable and the website will cease to accept orders from 31 May. The multinational bought the company in 2010 for €70 million, and seven years later, BuyVip’s staff, some fifty employees, will join other Amazon departments. In addition to Spain, the Madrid-based company also operated in Italy and Germany and at one point sold in the Netherlands, Portugal and Poland.

In September 2012, the company founded by Gustavo García and José Luis Vallejo Brusilovsky changed its name to Amazon BuyVip and customers could use their Amazon account to make purchases. Nevertheless, the company lost business to foreign competitors and sources close to Amazon told Europa Press that "in spite of all our efforts, the business remains unprofitable".

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