Amazon plans to make “small” numbers of job cuts in its UK operations as part of a wider shake-up at its Seattle headquarters – but stressed that affected employees will be assisted in finding roles in other areas within the company.
In a statement, the retailer’s UK arm said that as part of its annual planning process, it would make “small reductions” across its a few operations while continuing an “aggressive” hiring spree in many others.
An exact number of how many staff would be affected was not revealed.
There are also signs that its hiring spree in the UK shows no sign of slowing down after securing at least one million square feet in the City, allowing it to host at least 5000 new staff members.
“As part of our annual planning process, we are making headcount adjustments across the company – small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” an Amazon UK spokesperson said.
“For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”
This follows yesterday’s news that Amazon was set to cut hundreds of jobs at its Seattle headquarters, mostly around its consumer arm which includes its retail and marketplace businesses as well as its food delivery service.
While the job cuts were reportedly going to be in the low hundreds, it was not clear which specific teams would be affected.
Sources speaking to the Seattle Times said Amazon had determined through planning for 2018 that certain areas of its business no longer needed as much staff for the results it was seeking.
This means many of Amazon’s corporate jobs are going to areas of fast-growing profit, like cloud-computing division Amazon Web Services, or areas where it sees potential, like voice-controlled computing technology such as Alexa.
The layoffs are reportedly set to be completed over the next few weeks.
The job cuts are an unusual move for the online retail behemoth, which tends to make headlines for hiring sprees rather than a drop in office headcounts.
Amazon currently employs 24,000 staff in the UK, and has invested £6.4 billion in the country since 2010 on research and development, head office functions and fulfilment and logistics infrastructure.
Its UK employees are counted as part of its near 560,000-strong global employee base.
Amazon said that it currently has 3900 jobs available in Seattle today and around 12,000 worldwide – and these are corporate roles only.
It added that last year it created 130,000 jobs around the world, excluding what it absorbed from the Whole Foods acquisition.