Amazon Nixes or Delays Opening Almost 50 Warehouses

The move represents more than 50 million square feet of industrial real estate across the country

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Perhaps Amazon’s run of furiously adding what seemed like an endless amount of warehouse space has plateaued.

In the face of declining online shopping, the e-commerce king has canceled, closed or delayed the opening of 49 delivery processing facilities in the United States, according to reports citing data from logistics consultant MWPVL. Those facilities represent more than 50 million square feet of industrial real estate across the country.

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Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.

Nine of the 49 facilities are located in California, including two in Southern California and five in the Bay Area. Amazon is still moving forward with a 4.1 million-square-foot lease for what will be its largest warehouse in the nation, located in Southern California’s Inland Empire. 

Amazon had been flying high during the pandemic, which forced a spike in online shopping. That led to an incredible run of leasing and opening hundreds of millions of square feet across the country. The company opened 100 warehouses in September 2020 alone, and in 2021, Amazon leased 115 million square feet around the world.

MWPVL estimates that Amazon owns or leases about 1,200 facilities in the U.S. for 376 million square feet of space, and another 110 million square feet set to be added. 

But, far more brick-and-mortar retail has reopened since 2020 and now consumers are dealing with record inflation, forcing them to cut back on online shopping. After the second quarter, Amazon posted its slowest growth rate in 20 years amid a newly chaotic economy. Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s finance chief, said the company expects more cost reductions later this year. 

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.