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Amazon warehouse
Inside an Amazon warehouse. (GeekWire File Photo)
Amazon will continue its sweep into Europe, the online retailer announced Friday. Amazon will make thousands of new hires this year and expand infrastructure and services there, one of the company’s executives said.

In a press release, Xavier Garambois, Vice President of Amazon EU Retail, said Amazon will expand the company’s European-based warehouses and delivery network, as well as its research and development unit. Amazon also has plans to build more support for its cloud-computing efforts there.

“We are seeing stronger demand than ever from our customers all across Europe, and we see lots more opportunity across Amazon’s businesses to invent and invest for the future,” Garambois said. “We plan to create several thousand jobs this year at all education, experience and skill levels.”

Amazon created more than 10,000 new, permanent jobs in Europe in 2015. Amazon currently employs over 40,000 people across Europe. Of the jobs the company plans to add this year, more than 2,500 of them will be in Britain, according to Reuters. Amazon has invested more than $16 billion into its European operations since 2010.

Though Amazon’s overseas expansion has stalled at times, some analysts and researchers still see international markets as a big opportunity for the retailer. In October, research firm Trefis said Amazon possessed important competitive advantages overseas, such as its Prime offering, a proven builder of customer loyalty. The company’s growing delivery network often makes the retailer a more convenient option for consumers. The data Amazon collects on customer preferences enables it to create superior product selections, Trefis said.

But Trefis also cautioned that Amazon faces significant challenges, including increased competition from both e-commerce and traditional stores. Trefis also noted that Amazon had failed to make much of an impact in China and India, two important high-growth markets.

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