Amazon has not ruled out making cuts at its UK operations as part of a rare global jobs shake-up at the online retail giant.
The company has confirmed it will axe a “small” number of positions across the business, but stopped short of giving a number.
However, the Seattle Times cited sources who said the move would affect several hundred employees at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and hundreds more across its global operations, with layoffs focused on its consumer retail business.
Amazon has not ruled out that the UK business will be shielded from the cuts.
“As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company – small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” a spokesman said.
“For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.”
The job cuts are an unusual move for the retail giant, which tends to make headlines for hiring sprees rather than a drop in office headcounts.
The Seattle Times cited several employees who said the company’s rapid growth in recent years meant some units had overshot their budgets, while others were left with too little work for too many staff.
It added that a hiring freeze had been introduced for a number of groups and that job cuts were already under way.
Layoffs are reportedly set to be completed over the next few weeks.
Amazon currently employs 24,000 staff in the UK, which are counted as part of its near 560,000 strong global employee base, and claims to have invested £6.4 billion in the UK since 2010 on research and development, head office functions and fulfilment and logistics infrastructure.
The company also says it created 130,000 jobs worldwide last year, which does not account for its Whole Foods acquisition, and currently has around 12,000 corporate job openings worldwide.
The retailer recently made news for its latest offering which will reportedly see it enter into the shipping industry.
The new service will allow Amazon to pick up packages from businesses and deliver them to consumers, starting in Los Angeles in the coming weeks, and comes just years after the company unveiled its first branded cargo plane in August 2016.