As Amazon prepares to add 100,000 U.S. workers, one retail analyst says the hiring spree could indicate that it's ready to hit the accelerator on its physical store expansion.
In its announcement Thursday, Amazon said "many" of the roles it plans to fill will be in new fulfillment centers. It specifically outlined the addition of some 18,000 of jobs tied to these locations, in states from New Jersey to Texas.
Other roles will benefit areas like "cloud technology, machine learning and advanced logistics," CEO Jeff Bezos detailed. Yet for KeyBanc analyst Ed Yruma, that still leaves a "significant and unexplained gap."
"Based on what we know of the new [fulfillment center] road map and our view on higher automation ... we think it that it likely does not support more than 50,000-60,000 incremental jobs," Yruma wrote in a research note. "We believe that this could be explained by an accelerated rollout of physical stores. In particular, we think that a potential grocery pickup concept looks particularly promising."
Amazon had no further comment regarding how many of the jobs would support its growing bricks-and-mortar portfolio. The company currently employees 180,000 workers in the U.S.