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Amazon's 1M sq. ft. Robbinsville fulfillment center ships first order

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- (AMAZON.COM)

The 1 million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville — one of the state's most high-profile development projects in recent years — is officially up and running.

The online retail giant said Wednesday it had shipped its first customer order, a water jet oral hygiene system, from the sprawling facility. The shipment marked the start of business at the location off New Jersey Turnpike Exit 7A — in the Matrix Business Park at 7A — where the company has set up shop in order to feed the demand for overnight and potentially same-day delivery to the surrounding region.

By the end of the summer, Amazon expects to have more than 1,000 full-time workers at the fulfillment center, according to a company news release. Already, hundreds of employees were in place as the facility opened; they will pick, pack and ship smaller items to customers — anything from books to DVDs.

The e-tailer began collecting sales tax in New Jersey on July 1, 2013, as part of a deal in which it would bring two distribution centers to New Jersey. Previously, Amazon and other out-of-state online retailers did not collect the 7 percent sales taxes from New Jersey customers that brick-and-mortar merchants must charge.

Residents are supposed to pay sales tax on Internet purchases when they file their income tax returns, but rarely do. The deal with Amazon was similar to a deal the company has struck with roughly a dozen other states.

Amazon noted Wednesday that its fulfillment center jobs pay on average 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs. Anyone interested in applying for a job at the Robbinsville facility can visit www.workatamazonfulfillment.com.

The first item to go out was an Interplak All-in-One Sonic Water Jet System that was shipped to a customer in New York, the news release said.

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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