Amazon will create 10,000 new permanent jobs in the UK in 2021, taking its total workforce in the country to more than 55,000, it said on Friday.
The announcement provides a welcome boost to Britain’s precarious labour market, with unemployment running at almost 5%.
Amazon said the new jobs will include roles across its operations network, at its corporate offices and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The group plans to open a new fulfilment centre in Hinckley, central England, creating 700 jobs. It would also open a parcel centre in Doncaster, northern England, and further fulfilment centres in Dartford, near London, Gateshead in northeastern England and Swindon in western England, each creating more than 1,300 permanent jobs, it said.
Amazon already has 23,000 employees in Germany but is now looking to add more people to its workforce.
The delivery giant said in a press release on Friday that it would hire another 5,000 staff in areas from shipping to marketing.
Most Amazon employees work in logistics, where entry-level wages range from $13.25 to $14.90 gross per hour depending on the location. Germany’s current minimum wage is $11.14 per hour but will rise to $12.26 by July 2022.
At its logistics center in Sülzetal near Magdeburg, the minimum is $13.92 per hour; in Koblenz, it is $14.19; at the air freight handling facility in Leipzig it’s $15.83. Wages automatically rise after 12 and 24 months.
After two years, employees earned an average of around $3,500 gross per month including restricted employee shares, according to Amazon. There were bonus payments and other benefits.
It hasn’t been an easy year for the German branch of Amazon, with workers striking in June over rising COVID-19 infections at the company and again in October after their COVID-19 bonus payments were scrapped.
German trade union Verdi called for a four-day strike at Easter to demand a pay rise for workers in the retail and mail-order sectors. Amazon has also been subjected to an antitrust investigation over relationships with its third-party sellers in Germany.
In its press release, Amazon said it was calling for applications from those worried about the future of their jobs and was recruiting from a wide range of sectors.
“This is a great opportunity for career changers because we are open to a wide range of talents and qualifications,” said Amazon Germany country manager Ralf Kleber.
The company’s German headquarters are located in Munch while its research and development center is in Berlin. There are also a total of 15 logistics centers spread across the country.
Amazon itself does not provide any information about the salaries offered to employees in other sectors. According to employer rating portal Kununu, customer service employees earn about the same as their colleagues in warehouse and shipping.
Kununu’s data showed an account manager at Amazon earned almost $67,000 per year while a marketing officer earned around $62,000 and a human resources officer around $60,000.
According to Glassdoor, software engineers earn significantly more with a salary of over $82,000.
The company recently expanded its logistics empire to cope with rising demand over the holiday season and its delivery service could be worth up to $230 billion by 2025, according to Bank of America estimates.
Europe is struggling to gather evidence against Amazon for the antitrust case it has opened against the e-commerce giant for its market dominance and anti-competition practices, the Financial Times reported.
Brussels announced the case in the summer of 2019 on allegations that Amazon was manipulating its algorithm to favor its own products over third-party sellers on its websites.
They have reportedly been unable to access the algorithm and the list of detailed questions they sent to Amazon has not yet received a response.
Antitrust lawsuits have become commonplace as big tech companies come under increasing levels of scrutiny, including in the US.
Parler has also filed lawsuits against Amazon while the gaming giant behind Fortnite, Epic Games, has taken on Google and Apple.
“Cases involving algorithms are complex,” a Brussels-based legal expert told the Financial Times. “But the EU doesn’t have to dictate how a computer code works. It is for the company that uses the algorithm to deliver a fair result.”
If Amazon is found to have breached European law, the company could be fined up to 10% of its annual revenue. The figure stood at $233 billion for 2018, meaning a fine of up to $23 billion, but has since increased.
The lawsuit was followed by a second one in November 2020 over the way Amazon uses data from third-party sellers on its websites.
The Financial Times said the EU had been given evidence that Amazon may not gain anything from disadvantaging third-party sellers as they generate large amounts of profit for the company.
“Why would Amazon want to worsen the customer experience if customers will realize they can get better quality products for cheaper elsewhere?” an insider with knowledge of the defense told the Financial Times.
Those familiar with the case said an investigation could still take years and may still result in a successful outcome for the EU.
Amazon did not respond to the FT’s request for comment and the EU said it was still investigating.
Target Corp beat analysts’ estimates for holiday quarter sales on Tuesday, powered by the company’s same-day delivery and store pick-up services that helped fulfill resilient demand for home goods, toys, and groceries during the pandemic.
Over the past year, Target and Walmart consistently performed better than Wall Street expected as the deep-pocketed national retail chains amped up their online businesses during the health crisis and swiped market share from smaller rivals who rely more on their physical stores.
Still, Target held back on providing sales and earnings forecast for fiscal 2021, citing continued uncertainty over consumer shopping patterns amid the health crisis.
The company’s comparable sales rose 20.5% in the fourth quarter, comfortably beating analysts’ estimates for a 16.4% rise, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Sales through its same-day deliveries and store pick-up services surged 212%, as consumers sought quicker ways to get their online purchases.
Analysts have, however, warned that the torrid pace of growth would be difficult to repeat in the coming months, as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts raise the promise of a return to something closer to pre-pandemic life.
Target’s comparable sales for the full year are expected to slip 3.6%, according to Wall Street brokerages. In February, Walmart said it expects sales and profit growth to slow this year, leading to a fall in its shares.
Total fourth-quarter revenue for Target rose 21.1% to $28.34 billion, beating the average estimate of $27.48 billion. Full-year sales rose by over $15 billion, larger than the combined growth of the last 11 years.
Net earnings surged 65.6% to $1.38 billion. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $2.67 per share.
Kohl’s Corp topped estimates for holiday-quarter net sales on Tuesday, as people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic bought more from the department store chain’s online store.
Shares of the mid-priced chain rose 2% as it reinstated a quarterly dividend and said it would buy back shares worth between $200 million and $300 million.
Department stores, including Kohl’s, have been doubling down on cookware, kitchen electrics, beauty products, athleisure apparel, and activewear, as they look to beat lower demand for dresses and formal clothing from consumers working from home.
Kohl’s, which started selling Lands’ End Inc’s comfy clothes last year, now plans to launch its own athleisure brand FLX as it looks to increase store space allotted for activewear.
Net sales fell to $5.88 billion in the fourth quarter from $6.54 billion a year earlier. The market expectation was $5.86 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The mid-priced chain said it expects earnings per share to be between $2.45 and $2.95 for 2021, excluding certain charges. It is largely in line with expectation of $2.67 per share.
Coca-Cola is laying off 2,200 workers as part of a larger restructuring aimed at paring down its business units and brands, the drinks giant announced Thursday.
Around 1,200 of the layoffs will occur in the US, it said, including roughly 500 in Atlanta, where the company is based.
Coke employed 86,200 people worldwide at the end of 2019, including 10,400 in the US.
The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Coke’s business, as sales at places like stadiums and movie theaters dried up due to lockdowns. Its revenue fell 9% year-on-year to $8.7 billion between July and September.
The downturn forced the company to accelerate a restructuring that was already underway.
“We’ve been challenging legacy ways of doing business and the pandemic helped us realize we could be bolder in our efforts,” Coke Chairman and CEO James Quincey said during an earnings call in October.
The company said it will use the savings to invest in growing brands like Minute Maid and Simply juices and fund the launch of new products like Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola Energy, and Aha sparkling water.
Coke is also reducing its business segments from 17 to nine.
The severance programs will cost between $350 million to $550 million, the company said.
The company began offering voluntary buyouts to employees in August. Coke wouldn’t disclose how many employees took those offers.
The layoffs won’t impact Coke’s bottlers, which are largely independent. Including bottlers, the company employs more than 700,000 people worldwide.
Amazon is reportedly considering a nearly $100 million investment in India’s pharmacy chain Apollo Pharmacy, close on the heels of its launch of an online pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs in the US.
The company is looking to face up to Reliance Industries Ltd and Tata Group in India’s fast-growing drug market, the Economic Times reported Wednesday, citing two people aware of the plans.
Amazon already delivers medicines in India and the potential investment would come amid rising competition from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, which bought a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds.
Both Amazon and Apollo Hospitals, which owns Apollo Pharmacy, declined to comment to Reuters.
The growth of e-pharmacies has left many Indian trader groups feeling threatened. They say online drugstores can contribute to medicine sales without proper verification and the entry of large players can cause unemployment in the sector.
Amazon’s plan to further expand in India comes after it launched its US Amazon Pharmacy service November 17, increasing its competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart.
US customers can now buy drugs through Amazon’s main website.
Amazon Prime members would get benefits from the service including two-day delivery and big price cuts on generic and brand-name drugs, the company said.