Amazon said today that it will open a second corporate headquarters in North America equal in size and stature to the existing one in Seattle.
Amazon HQ2, as the facility will be called, “will be a complete headquarters for Amazon — not a satellite office,” the company said. Amazon will hire new teams and executives for HQ2 and will also let existing senior leaders throughout the company relocate with their teams in HQ1 to HQ2, or both.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive officer. “Amazon HQ2 will be a complete headquarters for Amazon, not a satellite office.”
If that’s true, HQ2 could double the company’s size and speed its march to reach $1 trillion in sales, which analysts believe will occur within a decade.
It’s not just Wal-Mart that will be impacted. Amazon has already been blamed for the current retail malaise, which has seen thousands of stores close, shopping centers become less relevant, especially to Millennials and Generation Z consumers, and downtown shopping corridors such as New York’s Madison Avenue and SoHo become riddled with vacant storefronts.
Amazon recently acquired for $13.7 billion Whole Foods’ 460 stores, which is its first brick-and-mortar retail chain. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart, which has been touting its store network with more than 4,100 units and its ability to leverage them for services such as ordering online and picking up in stores, has been making strides online.
“Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs,” Bezos said, adding that the company estimates its investments in Seattle from 2010, when it moved downtown, through 2016, resulted in an additional $38 billion to the city’s economy. “Every dollar invested by Amazon in Seattle generated an additional 1.4 dollars for the city’s economy overall. We’re excited to find a second home.”
If the Seattle facility is the guide Bezos says it will be, HQ2 will have more than 50,000 employees and a $25.7 billion payroll. The existing corporate campus consists of 33 buildings totaling 8.1 million square feet. Amazon’s capital investment for buildings and infrastructure was $3.7 billion. Bezos said the Seattle economy has benefited from 233,000 annual nights of hotel stays by visitors to Amazon and staffers.