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Amazon plans to shut three UK warehouses, with 1,200 jobs at risk – business live


Full story: Amazon to shut three UK warehouses, putting 1,200 jobs at risk

Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler

Amazon has announced plans to shut three of its 30-plus UK warehouses, affecting 1,200 jobs, our retail corresponent Sarah Butler reports.

Workers from the facilities in Doncaster, Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and Gourock in western Scotland will be offered roles at other Amazon locations.

It is thought unlikely that many of the 300 workers at the Gourock site will want to relocate as there is not another Amazon facility nearby, as is the case with the Doncaster and Hertfordshire factories.

The closures of the older sites come as Amazon prepares to open new delivery warehouses in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, which will employ 2,500 people.

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company remained “committed to our customers, employees, and communities across the UK”, saying:

“We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers.

As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities, or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023,.

The potential job losses come after Amazon announced last week that it planned to cut 18,000 jobs around the world – mostly in its head offices – in an effort to become more efficient under Andrew Jassy, who took over as chief executive in summer 2021.

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Cuts to energy bill support could hurt decarbonisation drive

Alex Lawson

Alex Lawson

Businesses have expressed “huge disappointment” over the threat to their survival from a sharp reduction in support for their energy bills from the government – and it could hurt Britain’s green ambitions too.

Leading energy consultancy Cornwall Insight argues that – as well as the impacts on business earnings and cash flow – the cut to support could curb businesses ability to invest in decarbonisation.

Gareth Miller, chief executive at Cornwall Insight, said:

“Some larger and more financially resilient firms will still be able to continue their plans. But many may now be unable to create borrowing capacity or free cash flow, at least over the coming few years, whilst they face this cocktail of cost challenges.

“It’s not about the will, it’s about the means. If the government is going to reduce direct support for business energy bills, then perhaps the policy focus should turn to how they can offset this by using tax and investment incentives, the design of energy markets, and greater financial reward for the demand side, allowing businesses to offset financial pressures, as well as maintain their pursuit of net zero.”

Yesterday the government announced a revamp of the capacity market – which is designed to ensure there is a reliable electricity supply regardless of the weather – to incentivise investment into low-carbon technologies.

Full story: Amazon to shut three UK warehouses, putting 1,200 jobs at risk

Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler

Amazon has announced plans to shut three of its 30-plus UK warehouses, affecting 1,200 jobs, our retail corresponent Sarah Butler reports.

Workers from the facilities in Doncaster, Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and Gourock in western Scotland will be offered roles at other Amazon locations.

It is thought unlikely that many of the 300 workers at the Gourock site will want to relocate as there is not another Amazon facility nearby, as is the case with the Doncaster and Hertfordshire factories.

The closures of the older sites come as Amazon prepares to open new delivery warehouses in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, which will employ 2,500 people.

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company remained “committed to our customers, employees, and communities across the UK”, saying:

“We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers.

As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities, or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023,.

The potential job losses come after Amazon announced last week that it planned to cut 18,000 jobs around the world – mostly in its head offices – in an effort to become more efficient under Andrew Jassy, who took over as chief executive in summer 2021.

More here:

Steve Garelick, GMB union officer for Hemel Hempstead, has pointed out that it’s not always practical for workers at one Amazon warehouse to ‘decamp’ to another.

Garelick says (via Sky News):

“Disappointed for the workers and disappointed for the town and a deep concern this is the thin end of the wedge for the local area.

“Some workers may be offered alternative roles but decamping to Luton, Dunstable or Milton Keynes isn’t as practical as you might think.”

Around 500 employees currently work at Amazon’s Hemel Hempstead site, one of the three which are proposed to be closed.

They will all be offered roles at Amazon’s nearby Dunstable warehouse or other nearby locations.

The consultations also involve around 400 staff at its Doncaster site in Balby Carr Bank, who Amazon plans to transfer to its two other fulfilment centres at Doncaster’s iPort.

As flagged at 10.39am, around 300 workers who are currently based at the Gourock site will also be affected if the site closes.

It is understood these proposals are separate from Amazon’s plan to cut around 18,000 jobs worldwide as part of a drive to cut costs, PA Media reports.

There’s some shock that Amazon is ‘resetting’ its UK operations by looking to close three warehouses, after so many years of strong growth, says Ashley Armstrong, The Sun’s business editor.

First warehouse closures at Amazon since its launch in the UK in 1998..After decades of growth there’s a bit of shock that it’s now resetting. These job losses are on top of 18,000 redundancies announced. Online growth is slowing and these are older sites.

— Ashley Armstrong (@AArmstrong_says) January 10, 2023

Staff at Amazon’s Gourock warehouse in Inverclyde, west of Glasgow, were told last night that the site is set to close, according to the Greenock Telegraph.

If the site closes, it would mean the loss of around 300 jobs in the area.

The Greenock Telegraph, the local daily newspaper in the area, says:

The bombshell was broken to employees by management at Faulds Park last night as they announced a ‘consultation’ on the move.

The Tele understands that the sprawling facility – which opened back in 2004 and remains one of the largest employers in the district – could close as early as March 19, in what is a major blow for the area.

Amazon say that all staff will have the chance to relocate to other sites, but bosses have also admitted there will be ‘limited opportunities’ available in Scotland, meaning that many of the workforce will lose their livelihoods.

A spokesman for Amazon has said all employees affected by warehouse closures will be offered roles at other Amazon locations.

“We’re always evaluating our network to make sure it fits our business needs and to improve the experience for our employees and customers.

“As part of that effort, we may close older sites, enhance existing facilities or open new sites, and we’ve launched a consultation on the proposed closure of three fulfilment centres in 2023.

“We also plan to open two new fulfilment centres creating 2,500 new jobs over the next three years.

“All employees affected by site closure consultations will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other facilities and we remain committed to our customers, employees and communities across the UK.”

A spokesman for online retail giant Amazon has said the firm has launched consultations over the closure of three UK warehouses.

Sites in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock, in the west of Scotland, have been proposed for closure, PA Media reports.

It is understood that all workers at the sites will be offered roles at other Amazon locations.

Amazon has also revealed plans for two new major fulfilment centres in Peddimore, West Midlands, and Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, which will create 2,500 jobs over the next three years.

Amazon to shut three UK warehouses, affecting 1,200 jobs

Amazon has said it plans to shut three UK warehouses in a move which will impact 1,200 jobs, PA Media reports.

Last week, Amazon announced it was expanding its staff-cutting plans to affect more than 18,000 workers.

The online retailer’s chief executive, Andy Jassy, cited “the uncertain economy” for the move and said Amazon had “hired rapidly over the last several years”.

A Hornby set at the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) Family Lounge at King's Cross Station
Photograph: John Nguyen/PA

Shares in model railway firm Hornby have tumbled by around 20% this morning, after it warned that sales are “behind budget” as the cost of living squeeze hits consumer spending..

Hornby warned that demand had been hit by the “challenging consumer economic climate”, telling shareholders:

We remain cautious in our outlook for the full year and beyond due to a high level of uncertainty around the impact of several factors on our sales such as inflation and mortgage costs for consumers but with employment expected to remain high we are hopeful that the confidence in consumer spending remains.

Group sales for the third quarter covering the key Christmas trading period were ahead of the same period last year, though. Hornby said it benefitted from better availability of stock, price increases, and investment in e-commerce platforms and digital media.

And it is launching a new product this month – a new control system for trains which uses Bluetooth to connect to phones or tablets.





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