Mall spaces left abandoned by major retailers in recent years may be repurposed and occupied by the Amazon company, most likely as distribution hubs.
The online retail giant is said to be in negotiations with the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, the country’s largest retail real estate investment trust.
Some of the massive mall spaces owned by Simon Property previously served as stores for J.C. Penny and Sears, among other retailers.
Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is interested in reconverting some of those spaces as warehouses to store “everything from books and sweaters to kitchenware and electronics until delivery to loyal customers.”
To date, Simon shopping mall properties have housed more than 60 Penny stores and nearly a dozen Sears stores. Those store spaces typically range in size between 110,000 and 160,000 square feet.
While Amazon’s fulfillment centers may measure as much as 800,000 square feet and more, many of its original warehouses are no larger than 100,000 square feet.
Amazon’s move for Simon vacant spaces couldn’t come at a better time, reports the business news service Marketplace: “The number of retailers that are looking to expand are few and far between, so Simon has to look elsewhere to fill its vacant mall space.”
Simon recorded a second quarter income of $254 million, down from $495 million in the spring of 2019.
At the same time, Amazon reported revenue of nearly $89 billion, compared with $63 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
Neither Simon nor Amazon officials have yet commented publicly on a possible agreement.
By Garry Boulard
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