One often wonders if Amazon’s relentless march on all things ecommerce will ever be matched. They’ve now revealed just what it takes having invested €15 billion since 2010 on infrastructure and operations in Europe.
€15 billion is an eye watering figure that dwarfs most retailers turnovers, let alone funds available for investment. The cash has been blown on over 80 corporate offices, fulfilment centres, seller and customer service centres, R&D centres, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) datacenter regions. Amazon recently announced new investments in London for a new UK head office and a new datacenter region for AWS customers. The UK datacenter region is in addition to the existing AWS datacenter regions in Frankfurt and in Dublin.
Amazon is also hiring more computer scientists and software development engineers (SDEs) across its European network of 12 research and development centres. Centres in Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK are inventing in areas across the company, including the Amazon retail website and mobile apps, digital media, devices and device software such as voice recognition technology, Prime Air, and cloud services.
2015 was a record year for job creation by Amazon in Europe with over 10,000 new permanent jobs, bringing the company’s total European workforce to over 40,000. In 2016, Amazon plan to take on several thousand more permanent employees, 2,500 of which will be in the UK taking their British workforce up to around 14,500.
Will there ever be a retailer to compete with Amazon? It’s hard to envisage that after 20 years the giant can be toppled from it’s perch, especially with their diversification into everything from entertainment to web services. But a competitor doesn’t have to have the size and scale to compete, we’ve always said on Tamebay that for a small business to succeed going niche is the way to go – sites like NotOnTheHighStreet for gifts and Yumbles for food are prospering despite Amazon’s desire to hoover up every ecommerce opportunity that comes their way.