Amazon eyeing up vacant department stores in malls
AMAZON is said to be considering turning department stores into distribution hubs, as shoppers continue to avoid the high street.
The tech giant has been in talks with US shopping centre group Simon Property to convert JCPenney and Sears department stores into storage centres, according to The Wall Street Journal. There are 63 Penney and 11 Sears stores in Simon shopping centres.
The report said it was not yet clear how many stores were being considered and that an agreement may not come to fruition.
News of Amazon’s potential push into shopping centres comes as the company benefits from swathes of people staying at home. Amazon has emerged as one of the biggest winners from global lockdowns thanks to its vast ecommerce empire and entertainment streaming site.
Last month, the US company revealed profits had more than doubled to $5.2bn (£4bn) in the three months to the end of June. It had previously warned heavy spending in reaction to the pandemic could push it to a loss. Since the start of the year, shares in the company have risen by two thirds. High street retailers, on the other hand, have been hammered since the pandemic hit, with many having been forced to shut stores.
In the UK, even after non-essential stores were allowed to reopen in June, consumers have continued to shun city centres. Over the seven days to July 26, high street footfall was down 60pc on last year.
Recent months have seen wellknown retailers such as Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston restructuring and axing jobs to cope with the slowdown in business. An Amazon spokesman said the company did not comment on rumours or speculation.
Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder. The company has been one of the biggest winners from global lockdowns