September 2021 – 10 years after ‘Amazon Unpacked’ was published in the Financial Times Weekend magazine, I returned to Rugeley alongside correspondent Sarah O’Connor to see what had changed.
In the last 10 years, Amazon’s value by market cap has risen from about $100bn to $1.5tn. The personal wealth of Jeff Bezos, its founder, has swelled from roughly $23bn to $170bn.
Meanwhile in Rugeley, the last remnants of the old coal economy have disappeared: the power station closed in 2016 and its cooling towers were destroyed in a controlled explosion last summer. Has the presence of Amazon in the town filled the void left by the departure of the town’s historic trades?