There are reports that Amazon is to open a massive (nearly) one million square foot fulfilment centre (FC) in New York City. This will be the major facility for the company in the city and the state. Previously fulfilment has been made predominantly from FC in New Jersey and other nearby states.
The 975k sq ft centre seems likely to be located on Staten Island giving easy access to millions of online shoppers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. But why has it taken so long?
The first obstacle has been with state officials over tax in the state but that is now largely resolved and the major barrier remained more obvious. Real estate in NYC is extremely expensive and there are few opportunities to find such big premises. The development of the Staten Island warehouse has been made possible because a plan for a NASCAR racing track at the site has fallen through due to political wrangling.
Amazon does already have a presence in the state. A smaller long Island facility is used for food delivery and there is also an Amazon Prime Now collection hub in Manhattan but this is by far their biggest incursion into the Empire State. Amazon has yet to make a public statement on these reported developments at time of writing
Big, densely populated, affluent urban centres offer huge opportunities for Amazon and being able to service them from close by as cheaply and efficiently as possible is vital. It also makes Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now more effective and enticing to shoppers. That NYC didn’t have a central fulfilment centre hub in the heart of the city has long been something of an anomaly but that looks set to change in the not to distant future with rumours that the facility will open before summer’s end.