Amazon plans warehouse in Kent

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The president traveled to an Amazon fulfillment center

Continuing its binge of new warehouse building, Amazon announced plans on Friday to open a warehouse in Kent, its fourth warehouse in Washington state.

By Jay Greene
Seattle Times business reporter

The company promised “hundreds” of full-time jobs at the new site, at 59th Place South and South 212th Street, where workers will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books and electronics.

A company spokeswoman didn’t disclose when Amazon plans to open the new facility, saying only that construction is expected to “move quickly.”

Amazon, which has more than 40 warehouses in the United States, has been adding them rapidly over the past few years, as it tries to bring its products closer to customers and reduce shipping times. Speedy delivery is a key competitive challenge for Amazon. While the company can often beat brick-and-mortar rivals on price, it can’t compete with them on the instant gratification shoppers get when they take possession of a product they’ve just purchased.

That’s why it has added dozens of new warehouses near major metropolitan areas across the country.

Those warehouses often employ 1,000 or more workers. So Amazon also works to get incentives from local and state officials to build their facilities. Amazon didn’t disclose any deals for the Kent facility, although Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, expressed gratitude to government officials in a statement.

“We are grateful to local and state elected officials who have supported Amazon in bringing a new fulfillment center to the state of Washington,” Roth said.

Amazon’s news release included a quote from Gov. Jay Inslee, who called the new warehouse “great news.” And Washington State Department of Commerce director Brian Bonlender said Amazon’s expansion is “extremely important to help grow and diversify the Kent Valley economy.”

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Amazon currently has warehouses in Sumner and Bellevue, while a DuPont site is near completion.

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