BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Amazon is expanding its footprint in Louisiana with a new fulfillment center that will employ 500 people, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday.
The online retailer will spend $100 million to set up the operation in the city of Carencro at the former Evangeline Downs horse racing track. Workers at the center will pick, pack and ship bulky or large items such as patio furniture, outdoor equipment and rugs, according to a news release from Edwards’ office.
“You don’t become the world’s largest online retailer without making a series of well-reasoned strategic investments, and Amazon’s selection of Carencro for its new fulfillment center is a testament to this,” Edwards said, adding that the project would lead to other jobs in the area.
Amazon has already invested more than $250 million in Louisiana since 2018 through its seven Whole Foods Markets and Amazon delivery stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The company also operates an Amazon Air logistics gateway at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
“We are grateful for the strong support we’ve received from local and state leaders as we expand our footprint in Louisiana,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment.
Carencro Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said the facility’s impact on the economy “cannot be overstated in terms of capital investment, job creation with respectable wages and benefits, and the increased interest in residential housing development.”
To secure the project, the state offered Amazon a competitive incentive package. The company also will be eligible for a performance-based grant of $3 million, payable over two years, to offset facility infrastructure costs.
Amazon expects to complete the center’s construction by the end of 2021 and to start hiring one to three months before it opens.
Read the full news release from the governor’s office below.
Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Amazon announced the company will open its first Louisiana fulfillment center in the Lafayette Parish city of Carencro. The company will make a $100 million capital investment and create 500 direct jobs with an annual payroll of more than $16 million. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project also will result in 982 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 1,400 jobs in Acadiana and surrounding regions.
Located on the former Evangeline Downs site in Carencro, the fulfillment center will be near the junction of Interstates 10 and 49 and provide optimal access to Louisiana markets. In the new 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center, Amazon associates will pick, pack and ship bulky or larger-sized items, such as patio furniture, outdoor equipment and rugs.
“You don’t become the world’s largest online retailer without making a series of well-reasoned strategic investments, and Amazon’s selection of Carencro for its new fulfillment center is a testament to this,” Gov. Edwards said. “This 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center will not only prove to be a tremendous asset for all of Louisiana, but the project also will create 500 full-time jobs on-site, and spur the growth of other jobs in Acadiana. I am proud to welcome this new fulfillment center to Louisiana, and I look forward to Amazon’s continued investment in our great state.”
The new fulfillment center is the latest Louisiana investment by Amazon, which already had invested more than $250 million in the state since 2010. In addition to seven Whole Foods Market locations in Louisiana, Amazon operates delivery stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The company also operates an Amazon Air logistics gateway at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Across Louisiana, Amazon currently employs over 1,500 full- and part-time workers.
“We are thrilled to be opening our first fulfillment center in the great state of Louisiana,” said Alicia Boler Davis, Amazon’s vice president of global customer fulfillment. “We are grateful for the strong support we’ve received from local and state leaders as we expand our footprint in Louisiana. Every day at Amazon, incredible employees come together to deliver magical experiences for customers and we look forward to creating over 500 new full-time jobs for the local community, with industry-leading pay and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”
In 2020, Amazon ranked Louisiana No. 5 among all states for the fastest annual growth among its digital entrepreneur partners. More than 14,500 small and medium-sized businesses in the state participate in Amazon’s fulfillment network. From June 2019 through May 2020, those Louisiana entrepreneurs recorded a 49 percent growth in year-over-year sales.
“Carencro is extremely honored and equally blessed to have been chosen for Amazon’s first Louisiana-based fulfillment center,” Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said. “The economic impact of this facility cannot be overstated in terms of capital investment, job creation with respectable wages and benefits, and the increased interest in residential housing development.”
In July 2020, LED and its economic development partners began formal discussions with Amazon about a potential fulfillment center. To secure the project in Carencro, the State of Louisiana offered Amazon a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1 state workforce program for the past 11 years. Additionally, Amazon will be eligible for a performance-based grant of $3 million, payable over two years, to offset facility infrastructure costs.
“Today’s announcement is a big win for Carencro, Lafayette Parish and our Acadiana people,” said President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “Amazon’s decision to locate Louisiana’s first fulfillment center here validates that our community is attractive to companies across sectors because of our work ethic, creativity and pro-business attitude. As our economy continues to recover from impacts of the pandemic and the energy downturn, this project highlights the importance of our diversification efforts to help stabilize the region’s economy.”
Amazon anticipates a completion of the fulfillment center in Carencro by the end of 2021. Hiring of new employees is expected to begin one to three months prior to the launch of operations.
“I’m so thankful to Mayor Brasseaux, LEDA, Amazon and all of the others who were involved in making this extraordinary project possible,” said Mayor-President Josh Guillory of Lafayette. “Anytime we can bring business and jobs to Lafayette Parish, everyone wins. We have all worked hard and will continue to put every resource forward to attract more businesses like this one to Lafayette.”
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit AboutAmazon.com and follow @AmazonNews.
About LEDLouisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes. In 2019, LED attracted more than 80 new economic development projects representing 12,300 new jobs, 15,500 retained jobs and over $8.4 billion in new capital investment. LED’s Small Business Services team, in conjunction with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, assisted more than 10,700 Louisiana small businesses and entrepreneurs in 2019. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.