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Amazon provides public tours of UK distribution centre

06 March 2015 - 09:30 by Graham Miller

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Anyone who is interested in the inner workings of Amazon, one of the world’s biggest websites for shopping online, can now get a peek behind the scenes.

This is thanks to the fact that the retailer is now offering guided tours of its Rugely fulfilment centre, close to Birmingham. And although it was only friends and family of staff who were taken on the initial tours, the Daily Mail reports that this invitation will soon be extended to everyone.

Amazon has made a portion of its site available for people who want to sign up for a tour online and anyone who heads to visit the facility will, no doubt, be impressed by the way that the company and its systems are capable of handling the tens of thousands of items that customers in the UK order each day.

The fulfilment centre in Staffordshire covers a whopping 700,000 square feet. Amazon has been on a recruitment drive recently, as well as endeavouring to increase the number of permanent staff on its books, rather than relying on controversial zero hour contracts to fill positions at its warehouses across the world.

Company spokesperson, John Tagawa, said that the efficiency of the fulfilment centre and the professionalism of the staff working there was a source of pride for Amazon, which is partly why it is flinging open the doors to tour groups.

This is not the first time that Amazon has made tours of its facilities available, with centres in other countries, such as America and Germany, already enjoying this level of exposure. But it is the first centre in the UK to be opened up to the public, so it will be interesting to see how much interest it can garner from Brits.