The fight for consumer dollars in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is heating up.
Amazon is bringing its Prime Now delivery service to the region.
The world’s largest web-based retailer announced Friday they will open a 91,134-square-foot distribution/delivery center in Manteca’s Pacific Business Park at 2403 W. Louise Ave. just west of the Manteca Unified School District office complex.
“The City of Manteca is very pleased that Amazon has chosen our community to locate one of their newest state-of-the-art delivery centers,” said Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum. “We appreciate Amazon’s business investment in our community, and look forward to the many jobs that will be created for the region.”
It is expected to bring Prime Now delivery service to Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and other points in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties such as Stockton, Modesto, and Tracy that are within an hour’s drive of the Louise Avenue site.
Amazon Prime customers can access Amazon Prime Now services. The Amazon prime membership is $99 a year. In select locations that have the distribution/delivery center such as the one that is opening in Manteca, Amazon Prime members can get free two hour delivery on most orders. A one-hour delivery service is available in select cities for a $7.99 charge. Customers schedule their delivery window during checkout using smartphone apps.
No delivery details have been provided for the Manteca location but in the Bay Area it is available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Prime Now customers in the Bay Area can also get delivery from local stores partnered with Amazon as well as delivery within an hour from 591 restaurants partnering with the Internet giant.
Typically where Amazon rolls out Prime Now its major brick and mortar competitors — Walmart and Target — respond with stepped up delivery offerings.
Prime Now has a somewhat limited offerings compared to the larger fulfillment centers. It offers 25,000 items across 25 categories for such things as groceries, household items, electronics, gifts, seasonal items, and more.
Amazon plans to hire more than 100 full-time and part-time employees for the Manteca location as they gear up for opening within the next several months. The firm is already posting jobs online at www.amazon.com for part-time shift assistants for the Manteca location. Typically such centers employ couriers as well as partner with Uber and Lyft drivers.
The announcement comes three days after Amazon revealed it will open a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Stockton near the Stockton Metro Airport. That center will ultimately employ workers and push Amazon’s employment in San Joaquin County near the 3,000 worker mark. The firm operates two million-square-foot plus fulfillment centers in Tracy as well as at Stockton Metro Airport where they have six daily cargo flights moving merchandise in and out of the region. There are also fulfillment centers in Patterson and Sacramento. The San Joaquin County locations along with Patterson are the primary locales serving the lucrative Bay Area market along with centers west of the Altamont pass that are similar to the one opening in Manteca.
Crews are working day and night to remodel the Louise Avenue location to allow it to open within several months.
“City staff worked closely with the property owner Exeter Property Group and the Amazon team to meet the project scheduling requirements, and renovation of the building is now underway” stated City Economic Development Manager Don Smail. “We expect to announce other important business projects coming to Manteca before the end of the year.”
Smail noted the fact the space was available worked in Manteca’s favor as well as its strategic location within the region.
There are nearly 1.2 million consumers within an hour’s drive of Manteca that is equidistant from Modesto, Stockton, and Tracy. It was a driving factor that has brought a number of concerns over the years to Manteca including Frito-Lay and J&M Equipment that wanted a central location to consolidate operations that were in Modesto as well as Stockton under one roof.
It also has a growing demographic that fits the Prime Now target audience — time pressed families that have Bay Area checks that are on waiting lists to buy homes in Manteca and River Islands at Lathrop.
Smail expects Manteca to continue to capitalize on its strategic location of not just being at the center of the Northern San Joaquin Valley but also the advantage it shares with Tracy, Lathrop, and Stockton of being essentially equidistance from San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento with upwards of 8 million consumers. Manteca has the advantage of also being at a transportation hub with Interstate 5, Highway 99, Interstate 205, two intermodal train-to-truck yards with Union Pacific’s bordering the city and Santa Fe’s 20 minutes to the northeast, Stockton Metro Airport 15 minutes away, and the Port of Stockton 20 minutes away.
Smail said the need for Manteca’s municipal staff to be nimble was demonstrated in being able to land not just Amazon that wanted to move quickly on an available building but also to secure 5.11 Tactical that will be opening a Manteca distribution center before year’s end.