Amazon is laying off hundreds of employees in a 'rare' move

Business Insider | Feb 12, 2018, 10.58PM IST

Amazon streetcar

AP/Elaine Thompson

  • Amazon is cutting hundreds of jobs at its Seattle headquarters and elsewhere, the Seattle Times reported.
  • The cuts are mostly related to the consumer retail division of the company.
  • The layoffs are happening amid massive growth in other parts of the company and a promise to move or hire at least 50,000 people at a new HQ.

Amazon is shedding hundreds of corporate employees.

The cuts are mostly in the company's retail division - the part in charge of actually selling stuff to customers - according to the Seattle Times.

An exact number has not been announced yet, but it's expected to be "several hundred." Hundreds more will be reassigned in the company where possible. Cuts will happen both at the company's Seattle headquarters and elsewhere.

With 566,000 employees as of December, Amazon is now the second-largest employer in the US, taking into consideration both corporate employees and ones at its fulfillment centers. Its Seattle headquarters employs over 40,000 people alone.

The percentage of affected employees will likely remain low, but layoffs of any kind are rare at Amazon, the Times noted. Some employees have already been informed, while others will be told in the coming months.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment, but told the Seattle Times, "As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company - small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others. For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring."

The layoffs come at a time when the company is drumming up support for its newest project, HQ2. The company is planning to build a new headquarters and fill it with 50,000 employees over 10 years.

The Future of Retail 2018 by the BI Intelligence Research Team.
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