Amazon.com announced on Tuesday that launching distribution centres in Poland gave the necessary impetus for European growth, while cushioning the potential impact of service union strikes in neighbouring Germany.
Although it is Amazon’s second-largest market behind the US, the e-tail giant found the going tough last year in Germany, with Verdi — the services union — going on strike in order to influence the management to reconsider their wage agreement. Last December strikes had intensified before Christmas and were repeated in the spring and fall, warning Amazon that this was just a sample of what was to come in the holiday season.
Amazon’s vice-president for European operations, Tim Collins, said: "The strikes haven’t had any impact, period."
Germany has nine distribution centres of Amazon with nearly 10,000 permanent employees in their employment, and 12,000 more would be joining as temporary help for the holiday season.
According to Amazon, its three new Polish centres started operations so fast that more products were shipped from there in the first month compared to any of its other European centres earlier.
Amazon’s centres in Poland began operations at the right time in Amazon’s busiest season, which it is promoting with conceptual offers for the European markets, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Collins stated: "One thing in Poland is they are more flexible in terms of helping us operate," adding that Amazon’s German centres did not operate on Sundays, whereas the Polish centres did.
Amazon claims its European network is not controlled by borders. "Which centre fills which order is determined by customer, product and route," said Collins, as the three Polish centres will cater to Germany, Russia and Northern Europe.
"Amazon has 20% growth a year, and we continue to expand in Europe," Collins said.
In 2015, the e-commerce king has plans of adding one more site in the Czech Republic.