Cyber Monday promises to be busy day for Amazon employees in Schertz

4,500 employees at Fulfillment Center to have their hands full

SCHERTZ, Texas – Thousands of Amazon employees in Schertz will be hard at work on Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday 2015 was a record-breaking day for the online retail giant, with 629 items ordered every second -- the most in 21 years.

Black Friday weekend was also huge, and the Seattle-based company expects sales to spill over into Cyber Monday.

"This is literally our Super Bowl. It is a beautiful marriage of people and robotics," said Schertz Fulfillment Center general manager Nikki Scott.

In addition to employees, conveyor belts and robotic arms inside the 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse play a huge part in the retail orchestra on a day when online sales shine.

Last year, Amazon scored 36 percent of Cyber Monday's internet shopping.

Even if that number remains steady, industry measurements show the pool of shoppers to be larger.

The National Retail Federation estimates 122 million Americans will shop online Monday, one million more than last year.

Adobe Digital Insights Reporting estimates sales will be more than $3 billion, an increase of 9.4 percent from last year.

If that's true, the 1,000 full-time employees plus some of the 3,500 area seasonal workers, who are hired to work from the end of fall through Christmas, will have their hands full at a place that is currently running 24 hours a day.

For an Austin-based client checking out the facility, it's a wonder to see in person.

Aaron Knirr, of WineOvation, an electronic wine-opener dealer, depends on Amazon for 50 percent of his sales.

"I couldn't imagine running a warehouse like this. It terrifies me," Knirr said.

Also impressive is the technology. Orange potato bug-like robots organize shelves by rolling underneath units and jacking them up, and then rolling them to workers who are grabbing items for storage and shipping. Metal arms move massive amounts of weight.

"I like organizing and putting things where they need to be, and seeing how much stuff I can put in one little place," Susie Eccles, a robot operator, said. After three years of experience, Eccles has nothing but praise for her helpers. The mother of four boys, who has eight grandchildren, wishes she had a robot of her own.