Amazon Scraps Plans to Build Fulfillment Center in Czech City of Brno

By Leos RousekDow Jones Newswires

U.S. online retailer Amazon Inc. (AMZN) has scrapped plans to open one of its new European distribution centers in the second largest Czech city of Brno, and is looking for a new location to meet its goal of building five centers in the region through 2015, the company's director of European operations said Wednesday.

"We respect the decision of the city of Brno and we won't pursue this project," Tim Collins said, referring to a recent decision by the city's council to withdraw its building permit for the planned large-sized warehouse to be located near the city's international airport.

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Nevertheless, the retailer is still pushing ahead with its plans to open five new so called 'fulfillment centers' in the region to process and dispatch customer orders as part of a European expansion.

Amazon earlier said that it plans to invest more than 100 million euros ($138 million) in each of its new distribution centers to serve clients in Germany, Austria and southeastern Europe.

The company is on schedule to build its other Czech site, located near Prague, and three in Poland. Each new Amazon warehouse will cover an area of about 95,000 square meters, or equal to about 13 European soccer pitches.

The company is currently looking for a replacement location for its warehouse originally planned for Brno, which is strategically located some 130 kilometers (83 miles) north Vienna, the capital of Austria, and 100 kilometers west of Bratislava in Slovakia.

"We're exploring possibilities for another location in the (Central European) region," Mr. Collins said, declining to elaborate further.