The Expansion of Amazon’s Empire

Headquarters 2.0


Amazon, Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Finance

Janet Han, Photojournalist

Amazon, a well-known company, is dominating the American world with a diverse range of products and services. While other stores and companies are struggling to avoid bankruptcy, Amazon has no such worries. In fact, the large company is often accused of causing the numerous retail store closures and company failures across the nation, as consumers no longer see a need to go out and shop for items.

Recently, Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $17 billion dollars, gaining both the upscale grocery store’s food and their retail land area. Both are valuable assets to the new owner, as they give Amazon a chance to boost their food delivery service, AmazonFresh, and also provide them with physical stores that they previously had little of. Clearly, the purchase was a beneficial decision, only solidifying Amazon’s expansive reach as they are now gaining market dominance in yet another aspect of the economy.

Just how much power the company possesses, however, can be most clearly seen in their recent search for a second headquarters. Amazon’s first headquarters, located in Seattle, Washington, has transformed the city. According to Amazon’s official webpage, the company is currently employing over 40,000 employees at their headquarters, serving as Seattle’s number one private employer. Innovations, particularly environment-friendly ones, have also been lead by Amazon, including a special system that will heat “three million square feet” of office space by “recycling the heat from a nearby building.” Overall, Amazon’s presence in Seattle has, over the years, been prominent from the increased and unique living spaces to the rapid rise in employment opportunities.

With these kinds of results, it is no surprise that cities across North America are vying for a chance to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters. The Seattle Times quoted Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos, who said that the new headquarters will “be a full equal” to their current one. He also mentioned that Amazon will “spend upwards of $5 billion on a new corporate campus,” as well as “house as many as 50,000 employees.” Upon hearing the news, Sarah Chen (10) pointed out that

“any city lucky enough to be selected would be changed drastically”.

Already cities are submitting proposals that highlight why they would be the best choice, which is growing to be an unusually public debate. Usually, such competitions are conducted behind the scenes among high-ranking officials, but the importance of Amazon is enough for many to direct their attention towards the event. Dubbed the “Amazon gold rush” by The Chicago Times, there are already over a hundred cities that are battling for the position as the highly coveted second headquarters location.

For now, it is unclear which city will emerge victorious. But the bids are being cast across the nation, leaving Amazon with a decision that will tremendously shape the future of not only the lucky city but of tens of thousands of lives.