Amazon is to create more than 1,000 jobs at a new warehouse in Nottinghamshire after consumers stampeded to embrace internet shopping during lockdown.
The firm is building a 1.75m sq ft distribution centre - the size of 22 football pitches - which occupies a site near Sutton-in-Ashfield that has been empty for nearly 10 years.
Its hiring spree comes amid a blizzard of job losses on the high street, with more than 25,000 cuts announced by stalwarts such as John Lewis and Boots as customers turn to the internet.
Initially it had been hoped that the warehouse could employ up to 1,800 people when plans for Amazon’s Nottinghamshire expansion were first revealed in 2019.
Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, said at the time that Amazon’s decision to expand into the area was “the biggest single private sector investment in the district for quite some time, maybe ever.”
Amazon is currently hiring engineers and other employees for the site. Construction of the warehouse started last year.
The company has long been boosted by a shift in consumer behaviour as shoppers desert the high street to go online instead. This trend was turbocharged by lockdown, with a 73pc surge in internet sales acccording to the Office for National Statistics.
It was reported earlier this month that Amazon has been in talks with large department stores in the US to turn them into warehouses as shoppers continue to avoid bricks and mortar sites.
Amazon reportedly held discussions with US shopping centre owner Simon Property over converting JCPenney and Sears buildings into warehouses. There are 63 Penney and 11 Sears stores in Simon shopping centres.
Last month, Amazon revealed that its profits had more than doubled to $5.2bn (£3.9bn) in the three months to the end of June, compared to a year earlier. It previously warned heavy spending during the pandemic could push it to a loss.
Jonatan Gal, Amazon’s director of UK customer fulfilment, said: “We are excited to continue our expansion in the UK’s East Midlands, creating a further 1,000 new permanent roles.
“As well as providing competitive wages and benefits from day one, we have also invested heavily to create the most modern, high-tech and safest working environment for our employees.”