A massive new distribution centre due to be built in south Wales by Amazon.co.uk will be partially operational in time for the 2007 Christmas e-commerce rush.

The retailer yesterday announced it is to create its fourth UK fulfillment HQ, spanning 800,000sqft, near Swansea following an incentive package from the Welsh Assembly Government.

The company said it is confident phase one will be complete by October, in time for the seasonal online spending boom.

UK online sales doubled last Christmas from the previous year’s holiday, as more shoppers take to the web every year.

Worldwide, Amazon reported 4m sales in one day alone last Christmas, beating its previous record day figure by 400,000. In the UK, Amazon’s busiest day saw 750,000 orders and 600,000 shipments.

With this year anticipated to show another up-turn, the retailer is expanding capacity.

The new 33-acre site, among its largest in Europe, will employ 1,200 logistics and order processing staff in four years’ time, with around 1,500 additional temporary and part-time positioned expected to be created to cope with Christmas periods.