It now has 1,000 employees and will close this year with 1,600
When and why did Amazon decide to open a subsidiary in Spain?
Amazon entered Spain in September 2011 with the launch of the website Amazon.es. However, it was not until 2012 that it made its first investment with the opening of its first logistics center in San Fernando de Henares, Madrid. The company decided to invest in Spain because of its excellent geographical location in the south of Europe and because it is a country that is committed to innovation and to supporting new companies as the main generators of employment. The excellent response to the website from the start made it necessary to open the first logistics center to satisfy growing demand from Spanish customers.
Have the expectations that made you decide to come to Spain been fulfilled?
Amazon's expectations in Spain were fulfilled from the start. Thanks to the good level of brand acceptance and growth in the number of customers in recent years, Amazon has continued its commitment to Spain as a country in which to invest and grow over the coming years, with the opening of new logistics centers that reduce delivery times, offer lower prices and improve customer experience. The role of small and medium-sized companies that sell their products through Amazon is also very significant. They are acquiring increasing weight at both international level and in Spain. In the first half of 2017, the SMEs and entrepreneurs who sold their products in the Amazon marketplace broke all records, selling over 2 billion articles. They now account for over 50% of all articles sold through Amazon's various websites around the world. Being able to sell their products in our marketplace allows them to reach a greater number of customers, and even enter new international markets. To support the internationalization of Spanish SMEs in the gastronomy and food sector, in June Amazon and ICEX launched the online store "Alimentos y vinos de España" (The Food and Wines of Spain), which allows them to export their products and offer the wealth of Spanish gastronomy to countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom.
What role does Spain play within the company?
Since Amazon's entered Spain in 2011, the country has been gaining importance within the company at both European level and worldwide. Amazon has decided to commit to our country for a number of reasons, among them its strategic location as an enclave that can meet demand from its customers in the whole of southern Europe, the commitment to digital transformation and innovation, and access to highly qualified professionals. The company has chosen Spain as an important enclave for its growth in Europe. This has been demonstrated with the opening of the Sellers Support Hub in Barcelona, a multilingual center that offers advice to SMEs and entrepreneurs who sell their products in the Amazon marketplace in Italy, France and Spain. Spain is also the third country in Europe (after the United Kingdom and Poland) to implement the Amazon Robotics technology in its logistics centers. Finally, last year Amazon opened its Tech Hub in Madrid, a technological and research center where the company designs new services and tools to support growth in its different lines of business. These milestones demonstrate the weight that Spain is acquiring as an expanding market.
What projects do you have in Spain now and moving forward?
With respect to logistical investment, we currently have the logistics center in San Fernando de Henares, Madrid, the company's first in Spain. It began operating in 2012, one year after the launch of Amazon.es. There is also a center in Castellbisbal, Barcelona, dedicated to Amazon Pantry, the new service that allows customers to buy thousands of basic daily products in the sizes they need without a minimum required purchase. Amazon also has two urban logistics centers in Madrid and Barcelona providing super-fast deliveries to its Prime customers in these cities through its Prime Now service. Apart from these investments, Amazon opened its corporate offices in Spain in 2012, choosing Madrid to install its Tech Hub in the South of Europe. The hub provides support to Amazon Business, the company's marketplace for merchants, and develops new services and functionalities for Amazon's five European websites. In Catalonia, the company announced in March that it would create 500 jobs more through 2019 with the opening of its Seller Support Hub, located in Barcelona. This will have a multilingual team to provide assistance to small companies in France, Italy and Spain that sell in Amazon Marketplace. As well as this, 100 jobs for researchers and scientists will be created in a new center focused on Machine Learning in Barcelona. Finally, there is the opening of two logistics centers in the fall of 2017, one in El Prat, Barcelona, and the other in Martorelles, Barcelona. Recently Amazon has inaugurated two logistics stations, one in Getafe, Madrid, and the other in Paterna, Valencia. In August it also announced the opening of a new logistics center in Illescas, Toledo, in the fall of 2018, which will create over 900 jobs over the next three years.