Amazon to hire 5,000 warehouse employees

All in the United States, to meet surging customer demand.

Photo courtesy Amazon

Amazon, the world's largest Web retailer, said this morning that it will add more than 5,000 full-time jobs in 17 U.S. warehouses to meet increasing demand for its products.

Those locations are in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania; Middletown, Delaware; Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Charleston and Spartanburg, South Carolina; Patterson, San Bernardino and Tracy, California; Chester, Virginia; Phoenix, Arizona; Coppell, San Antonio and Haslet, Texas; Hebron, Kentucky; and Indianapolis and Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The company already has more than 20,000 employees spread across three dozen U.S. "fulfillment centers," as it calls them. It plans to open another five facilities this year; last year, it opened 20.

While the company framed the news in terms of job creation, the interesting angle to all this is a continued focus on Amazon's now-signature strategy: " To hell with today's profit , let's destroy the competition and rake it in later ."

Which is why, as Bloomberg's Danielle Kucera points out, Amazon's warehouse expenses have more than doubled during the past three years. The company is trying to put fulfillment centers closer to consumers; it values faster delivery times and reduced shipping costs over the cost of building and staffing additional facilities.

Another key driver: the broader network allows Amazon to better serve Prime members, who pay $79 per year for unlimited two-day shipping.