The Sacramento region got some good news last week when online book retailer and superstore Amazon.com, announced plans to open a fulfillment center in Sacramento, creating over 1,000 jobs.
The fourth such fulfillment center in California, Amazon’s new 855,000 square foot location is expected to open sometime next year in Metro Air Park, a business development near Sacramento International Airport.
Amazon will use the fulfillment center to pick, pack, and ship smaller customer orders with items like books, toys, electronics and other merchandise. While it’s being reported as Amazon.com’s first foray into Sacramento, the company actually opened a small distribution hub last year last on Ramona Avenue, just south of California State University.
Although details haven’t been finalized, many of Amazon’s other fulfillment centers pay about $14 hourly for warehouse workers, but also are highly valued for their benefits and perks. Amazon.com full-time employees receive healthcare, 401(k) and company stock options, maternity and parental leave benefits, and the possibility of tuition payments for continuing education.
According to Roberta MacGlashan, Chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, “Amazon coming to Sacramento represents a big step forward as our community continues to grow. We have seen Amazon be a positive influence elsewhere in the state, and we are pleased that Amazon has chosen to invest in this region as well.”
To celebrate the arrival of one of Sacramento’s latest and greatest employers, we’ve put together 15 fun facts about Amazon.com:
1. According to Forbes.com, Amazon.com is worth $292.6 billion with $107 billion in revenue last year.
2. Amazon currently ranks #237 on Forbes’ list of biggest public companies in the world. Forbes also ranks Amazon.com as the #12 most valuable brand on the globe, and Amazon.com is listed as the #5 top domain on the entire worldwide web!
3. They employ 230,800 people around the globe but their headquarters is in Seattle, Washington, where 20,000 employees work in their unique urban campus. (20% of Amazon.com employees there live so close they can walk to work!)
4. Amazon was founded in 1994 by iconoclast and quirky genius Jeff Bezos. Like his contemporaries Gates and Jobs, Bezos started the huge e-tailer from his garage as a book retailer, selling the company’s book, Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.
5. The company that’s now a household name was almost called "Cadabra!" Short for "Abracadabra,” that name was a frontrunner until Bezos vetoed it because he misheard it as "cadaver!"
6. Reportedly, Bezos like the name “Amazon” because it suggested a huge scale, like the Amazon rainforest, and it also listed very well alphabetically.
7. Sticking with Bezos’ obsession with alphabetization, the Amazon.com logo depicts a smile from A to Z, indicating their range of sending the entire alphabet of books anywhere in the world.
8. Storing, cataloging, and shipping all of those books takes a whole lot of space, and Amazon's warehouses have more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens!
9. As of 2014, Amazon.com has 32.8 million books for sale, including 22.9 million paperbacks, 8.1 hardcovers, and 1.2 million eBooks, and other formats.
10. As one of the world’s biggest online stores, innovative tech the critical focus of Amazon, though it doesn’t always work. In fact, when Amazon’s servers went down for about 40 minutes in 2013, the company reportedly lost $117,000 per minute, adding up to $4.72 million in lost sales.
11. Believe it or not, Amazon has been maligned (and misunderstood) as a company that doesn’t actually turn a profit every year. In fact, Amazon often reports losses! But stockholders still buy up the company in droves because they understand that Amazon is constantly reinvesting in acquiring other valuable companies, opening new fulfillment centers, expanding their market share, and growing their invaluable web platform.
12. All Amazon employees are required to spend two days every year working as a customer service agent, which gives them a better understanding of customer needs, wants, and issues on the front lines, and therefore re-centering their view on customer service.
13. But Bezos is also notoriously cheap. Unlike many of the high-perk tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon’s employee cafeteria isn’t subsidized by the firm, light bulbs have been taken out of vending machines to save electricity, and new hires have to return their tech items and orientation packet if/when they leave the company! Bezos even tried to save the company money by instructing his programmers to buy wooden doors and lay them flat on sawhorses or 4 x4’s for cheap homemade desks!
14. There’s no denying that Bezos has an interesting leadership style, as he encourages dissenting opinions and feather ruffling among his staff, managers, and executives, culminating in “an adversarial atmosphere with almost constant friction,” in his own words. In fact, Amazon’s hiring principles read, “Leaders come forward with problems or information, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing.”
15. Even meetings at Amazon.com are done differently, encouraging efficiency and production by banning Power Point presentations, replacing them with up to 30-minute silent reading sessions, and assembling small teams that are limited to the number of people that can be fed by only two pizzas!
For more information or you wanted to apply for a career with Amazon.com in Sacramento, go to www.amazondelivers.jobs.