Shropshire Star

How new Amazon centre has 'exceeded expectations' ahead of last-minute Christmas rush

Matt Panter visits the huge new facility where cutting-edge technology sees orders received and dispatched within two hours.

Amazon at Peddimore, Sutton Coldfield

"If you had ordered something when you pulled up in the car park here, it will have left the building and started on its journey to your house before you leave," explains regional director of Amazon UK, Neil Travis.

Given I was only visiting for two hours maximum, it was an impressive statistic.

And I'll admit, it was music to my ears because my Christmas shopping – or lack of it – has not gone well this year.

I am a big fan and champion of high street shopping, heading out purchase things physically when I can and that will never change.

But sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day and the festive period is on you in a flash.

And with Christmas now just over a week away, speed and efficiency are needed.

Regional Director Neil Travis

Enter the hard-working employees of the new Amazon fulfilment centre in Sutton Coldfield and, of course, those at the firm's base in Rugeley, working diligently in the run up to the big day.

After all, Father Christmas can't do it on his own, right? For Santa's Elves, see Amazon's army of wheeled robots, busy moving about the floor, collecting orders ready to deliver at the click of a button.

I had been to Amazon's new £500m fulfilment centre in the West Midlands before, a couple of months ago, just after launch.

Preparing for the distribution of parcels

The 547,000 sq ft fulfilment centre is the size of more than seven football pitches, with 11 miles of conveyancing, and an assembled team had already been playing a key role in the company’s day-to-day functions, handling customer orders and helping in the delivery of thousands of items to expectant customers each day.

On this visit, a Christmas tree, with festive gifts underneath, was quickly visible in reception alongside a large inflatable gingerbread man.

Yes, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Staff look at the Christmas tree