North Randall, Ohio. That is likely not a place that you’re familiar with. Just another town in the flyover states to us Europeans. But, remarkably, it was once home to the biggest shopping mall in the USA. It was reportedly shut down in the face of online competition from the likes of Amazon. The irony isn’t going to be missed by many as the site now will be repurposed as an Amazon FC or fulfillment centre.
Here’s the Amazon announcement regaording the new development: Amazon Announces New Fulfillment Center in Ohio.
The new FC will bring 2000 full-time jobs, they say. Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s Vice President of North American Customer Fulfillment says: “Our ability to expand in Ohio is the result of two things: incredible customers and an outstanding workforce in the state. We very much appreciate the state and local elected leaders who have supported Amazon’s arrival in North Randall and look forward to bringing more jobs and investment in the coming months.”
The local mayor David Smith says: “Words cannot begin to express what Amazon’s commitment to the development of its fulfillment center means for the Village of North Randall. This is a generational project that not only redefines the future of our community but the future of more than 2000 Cuyahoga County residents who will be employed at the facility.”
The old order changeth yielding place to new. The mayor is clearly positive about the development of the FC at North Randall and 2000 jobs are never to be sniffed at by the burgher of any town. Hopefully the Amazon opportunity will be a boon for the community. But, equally, is it a good thing for a single employer to be in such a dominant position? Especially when the employer is as faceless and unfeeling as Amazon.
If I was the mayor of North Randall, I’d be working on schemes to ensure that 2000 jobs were being created in the making of robots to serve Amazon. Or building delivery drones.