Amazon warehouses in malls?
The American mall concept has been limping along for years, but with more and more retailers declaring bankruptcy in light of recent economic times, online retail, and the final straw, coronavirus, the future looks dire.
According to the word in business circles, Amazon thinks it has an answer—or likely an answer to make it easier to do its own business but not necessarily save ailing malls.
The Wall Street Journal says that Amazon is in talks with the biggest U.S. mall owner, Simon Property Group, to turn space in the shopping centers into fulfillment centers. It is specifically looking at taking over space formerly occupied by JCPenney and Sears stores.
Sears went through years of bankruptcy and restructuring before it finally threw in the towel and closed most stores. JCPenney recently declared bankruptcy and is in the process of closing several stores nationwide. Both of these retailers have left anchor space empty in malls, both indoor and outdoor.
If Amazon has its way, it will take over those retail spaces, turning them into warehouse space that will give them more centralized locations to process and ship orders faster.
Simon is looking into acquiring, which would give it more control over how the empty store spaces from that company are used.
While Amazon will definitely benefit from moving into more spaces, it will do basically nothing to draw more shoppers to malls. If the deal comes to fruition, it will be interesting to see if malls could benefit from having a solid renter in its walls, even if it isn't a customer-forward business, or if it will turn shoppers off to have a warehouse among favorite stores.
Amazon has not commented on the possible deal. Rachael Lightly, and Amazon representative, told Business Insider that the ecommerce giant would not comment on "rumors or speculation."
What do you think? Would it ruin the mall experience to have an Amazon warehouse anchor the space? Or would you be excited for quicker delivery? Let us know in the comments.