Amazon’s new U.K. chief Doug Gurr said Wednesday that the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union hasn’t had an impact on sales and that the e-commerce giant would create another 1,000 jobs in the country this year, Reuters reports.
Many have speculated that newly-drawn lines created by the so-called Brexit vote would impede Amazon’s fulfillment, shipping and hiring efforts, stalling its ambitious European (now European and U.K.) expansion plans.
Gurr said that the company is conducting “business as usual” and that until actions are taken on the exit, it’s operating under the current status of the U.K. being part of the E.U. Staples, by contrast, is reportedly considering shuttering its U.K. operations in light of Brexit.
Amazon says that post-Brexit sales haven’t taken much of a hit. Of course, it’s still early days—the vote took place June 24 and surprised many when it fell on the side of Britain leaving the E.U.
Amazon’s U.K. chief also took care to frame the company's attitude somewhat carefully: As Reuters notes, Gurr told reporters Wednesday that "sales are in line with expectations... It's business as usual as far as we are concerned," but didn’t elaborate on what those expectations are.
"What we've said to all of our teams is: 'As far as we're concerned nothing changes. We're still part of the E.U. as of today, we'll continue to operate on that basis,'" Gurr said, according to Reuters. And technically, that’s true. There’s even some speculation that once the political upheaval spurred by the vote has subsided, there may be a path for the U.K. to actually remain in the E.U., as least to some degree.
Still, the wide-open borders for people and goods are likely to change as a result of the Brexit vote, and that could hurt (at least by making more expensive) Amazon’s hiring efforts and package delivery initiatives, which would both be subject to new restrictions.
With the new jobs announced Wednesday, Amazon will employ more than 15,000 full-time permanent employees across Britain by the end of this year. The new positions will span its head office, research and development centers, customer service center, fulfillment centers, a fashion photography studio and the Amazon Web Services unit.