Report says Amazon is looking to convert malls into fulfillment centers

Amazon may find a use for your crumbling neighborhood mall, even if you don’t.

according to a report by (opens in a new tab)wall street journal(opens in a new tab), the ecommerce giant is currently in talks to convert scores of rapidly emptying JCPenney and Sears mall locations into scaled-down fulfillment centers. Simon Property Group(opens in a new tab)which owns malls throughout the county, even pre-pandemic reportedly sought to bring Amazon into some of its many locations across the country.

Such a deal would give Amazon the perfect hub for same-day delivery, and could further undermine the mall’s status as a physical shopping destination.

Notably, this won’t mark the first time Amazon has renovated a mall to its own design. in may last year wall street journal published a report(opens in a new tab) titled “Why Amazon Is Gobbling Up Failed Malls”, which focused on a similar practice in Northeast Ohio.

Mall owners have long noticed a change, and in 2017 attempted a pivot away from traditional mall businesses of grocery stores, gyms, and fancy restaurants.

“Our properties are not just about retail or shopping,” Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of mall owner CBL & Associates Properties, said in a statement reported by CNBC.(opens in a new tab) At that time, “they serve as meeting places for their respective communities.”

See also: Jeff Bezos doesn’t rule out using third-party retailer data to create Amazon-branded products

With many communities unable to safely gather in the face of the coronavirus, it probably isn’t surprising that the trend away from malls will only accelerate. And, is it often, it’s not too shocking that Amazon is there to pick up whatever rotting pieces are left.

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