How does an Amazon single-day distribution center handle Cyber Monday? Here's a look

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Monday, November 27, 2023
How does an Amazon distribution center handle Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is one of Amazon's busiest days of the year. Here's a look at how the distribution center in Richmond was facilitating all the orders.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of packages make their way down a conveyor belt at the Amazon Distribution Center in Richmond, California. That center is the only single-day distribution center in the Bay Area, and those packages will make their way to homes on Cyber Monday.

"Apparel, electronics, big items, air pods, everything you want we can carry right here," said Jamie Pope, the site manager. "And if I don't, we have reach-back capability for up to 20 million items."

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Cyber Monday is one of Amazon's busiest days of the year. Pope says he has hundreds of workers scheduled to facilitate all the orders.

"We start all year long training our managers and our full-time employees, and then start ramping up two to three months to be able to meet this peak demand," he said. "This facility runs 24-7. Almost 365 days of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have maybe 500 to 600 associates and at any one time."

Retail experts say Cyber Monday could be a record day in-terms of spending. They expect a 5% increase from last year. However, high inflation means a 5% increase wont lead to a big increase in profits.

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"When inflation is at 4-5 percent, then a 4-5 percent growth means you really are only getting a 0-1 percent increase in sales," said Dr. Kirthi Kalyanam, Executive Director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University.

Dr. Kalyanam says consumers have money to spend, but the discounts are not that high. He says consumers want to see big discounts, but retailers aren't willing to lower the prices by that much.

"You still want to turn profit, right?" Dr. Kalyanam said. "If you read a lot of the consumer reactions, people are looking for like deep discounts and Black Friday discounts, and they found mostly 25-30 percent discounts. To consumers, 25-30 percent is just a normal discount. It is not a Black Friday discount."

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