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Amazon plans job cuts at Seattle headquarters

RBR Staff Writer Published 14 February 2018

Online retail giant Amazon is laying off hundreds of workers at its Seattle headquarters as part of its annual reorganization efforts.

Amazon is making head count adjustments across the company, with small reductions at a couple of places and aggressive hiring at many other places.

The exact number of layoffs has not been disclosed. They are expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

The layoffs will mostly be in its consumer retail businesses, particularly those holding corporate positions.

Amazon's move, closely resembles its arch-rival Walmart’s move in late January to lay off 500 jobs at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters.

Amazon also claims to be finding ways to find roles in the areas where it is hiring.

It is estimated that Amazon has so far laid off around 500 employees in the US in the last two years. While at the same time, it has been hiring more than 12,500 people for several openings. In Seattle alone, the company is claimed to have almost 4,000 openings.

Last year, Amazon is said to have hired about 130,000 people across the world, while its full-time and part-time employee head count is 566,000. Between 2016 and 2017, its workforce is said to have increased by 66%.

The company is now shifting its focus on areas with high growth potential. Amazon’s other areas such as digital entertainment and Amazon Web Services (AWS) businesses have experienced significant development and it is focused on realigning its focus on those operations.

It is also finding new ways to reduce human workforce. Recently, the company opened a new concept store Amazon Go at its Seattle headquarters, which does not have a manual check out, unlike other physical stores.

At the store, customers can come in, start shopping and can leave the store.  Money for the shopping will be directly deducted from the users’ Amazon account.  

Image: Amazon Seattle campus. Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.com, Inc.