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Amazon to open fulfillment centre just outside Calgary

HQ2 and distro centre very separate plans, says Amazon

Amazon is opening a large distribution centre just north of Calgary in Balzac, and it's expected to create 750 full-time jobs. Uploaded by: Krause, Darren

Aaron Chatha / Metro Order this photo

Amazon is opening a large distribution centre just north of Calgary in Balzac, and it's expected to create 750 full-time jobs. Uploaded by: Krause, Darren

It’s not HQ2, but Calgarians will be able to board the Amazon job train as the e-commerce giant will be opening a fulfillment centre in Rocky View County, near CrossIron Mills mall.

The facility, expected to be completed in 2018, will create 750 jobs in receiving, shipping, inventory, support and more.

“Our associates will fulfill customer order ranging from aviator sunglasses to zebra costumes,” said Glenn Sommerville, director of operations, Amazon Canada.

“And we’ll be able to do so at even faster shipping speeds.”

Yes, this means some Amazon orders may reach Calgarians in less time than before.

This fulfillment centre is the result of connections created by Calgary Economic Development and Rocky View County. Amazon promises it will offer competitive wages, with benefits.

They’ve leased a 42-acre site, and the facility will encompass about six city blocks in size. The location was chosen out of a need to meet customer demand in Western Canada.

“The last few years have not been easy,” said Premiere Rachel Notley.

“The drop in oil prices hit us hard, but underscored that we need to do more to diversify our economy and create new jobs. And that’s what today is all about.”

It remains to be seen if the fulfillment centre will help or hinder Calgary’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Notley indicated, at the very least, it indicates that Amazon is aware Calgary is a player in the game.

At the same time, Ashley Robinson, spokesperson for Amazon operations, said the fulfilment centre and HQ2 are two very separate issues, with a different set of demands and priorities.

Amazon is expected to make its decision about HQ2 in 2018.

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