E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly in talks with the largest mall owners in America to turn retail spaces into fulfillment centers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that as malls across the United States struggle to survive during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly in talks with America’s biggest mall owner, Simon Property Group, to turn empty retail space into Amazon warehouses.
Many of the department stores previously occupied by Sears and JCPenney, both of which have filed for bankruptcy and closed dozens of stores, have left retail spaces across the country empty. Now, Amazon is attempting to purchase empty retail spaces to create multiple warehouse spaces in cities across the country allowing the e-commerce giant to decrease its delivery times on shipments.
This isn’t a new strategy for Amazon, the company already has created fulfillment centers in old strip malls that have gone out of business. While mall owners generally focus on finding tenants that will attract more customers to the mall, such as retail stores and gyms, Amazon’s fulfillment centers would only attract their own employees. However, retail store profits have wavered greatly during the pandemic while Amazon’s sales have surged massively.
Camille Renshaw, chief executive officer of B+E, a real-estate investment brokerage firm, commented on the movie stating: “To replace department stores, mall owners considered schools, medical offices and senior living. With the current pandemic, industrial is the only thing left now.”
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