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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The opening of Amazon’s new fulfillment center in Riyadh will help boost selling opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses by providing them a platform to showcase their products and expand their reach, a top official of the e-commerce giant said.
In an interview with Arab News, Prashant Saran, director of operations for Amazon in the Middle East and North Africa region, said that the new facility will provide sellers with more storage options and help them expand their online businesses to new markets.
“Whenever a new fulfillment center opens, it has a transformative impact on the economy of the host city by contributing to expanding product selection and availability, growth of e-commerce sales, talent development, and the acceleration of entrepreneurship,” said Saran.
He added: “The majority of products sold on Amazon.sa come from small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, many SMBs venture into e-commerce for the first time using our simple and convenient services.”
Saran noted that Amazon has been working closely with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, also known as Monsha’at, to host 40,000 sellers on Amazon.sa by 2025.
Amazon’s fulfillment centers are hubs that enable the e-commerce firm to store millions of units of inventory, and serve as distribution centers where associates store, pick, pack, and ship orders.
The new center was opened in Riyadh on Tuesday in the presence of Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, and officials of the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Transport General Authority; and Monsha’at.
“Amazon’s expansion supports Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector — one of NIDLP’s four key sectors — bringing the latest innovations and technologies in e-commerce operations to the country. The new fulfillment center in Riyadh will further unlock the value of the Kingdom’s resources by empowering local startups and entrepreneurs with improved global connectivity and access to new markets,” said Al-Mazroua, according to a press statement.
The facility which spans 390,000 sq. feet across five floors is expected to double Amazon’s total storage capacity in Saudi Arabia. With 2.7 million cubic feet capacity the center can store more than 9 million products, the statement added.
“Led by a diverse cohort of talented Saudi nationals in managerial positions, we expect this fulfillment center to support the Kingdom’s digital economy goals,” said Abdo Chlala, country manager of Amazon in Saudi Arabia.
According to the press release, the facility is powered 100 percent by electricity, including its heating and hot water systems, avoiding the use of fossil fuel combustibles and with energy efficiency as a top priority, in line with the company’s goal to turn net-zero by 2040.
Saran added that Amazon has been always cooperating with the Kingdom to support its localization efforts, and with Amazon Academy announced earlier this year, the e-commerce giant is providing training to 30,000 Saudi citizens in cloud technology, retail, and logistics.
“We have been making steady progress and today, Saudi women at the new fulfillment center occupy a variety of leadership positions within operations, human resources, learning and development, IT, among other departments,” he said.
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