Amazon could be set to speed up deliveries by setting up new fulfillment centers in abandoned shopping mall stores.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the online retail giant has started talks with Simon Property Group, one of the largest owners of shopping mall real estate in the United States, concerning setting up additional distribution centers and shipping hubs.
The move could even get under way in time for upcoming Amazon Prime Day deals, meaning orders and deliveries can be processed and sent out to shoppers quicker than ever before.
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Once essential retail and shopping locations, shopping malls have suffered a major drop in popularity and sales as online commerce has become the norm. In the wake of the global pandemic and lockdown, many shopping malls have lain empty for weeks, running up huge bills for the companies like Simon Property that own the real estate.
Many flagship stores such as Sears and JC Penney have been forced to close outlets, meaning shopping malls have huge swathes of empty space that Amazon is now eyeing up.
The WSJ notes that Simon Property’s holdings include some 63 JC Penney and 11 Sears stores across the US, with Amazon keen to go after the biggest available sites as it looks to widen its reach across the nation.
It is thought the deal would see Amazon rent space from Simon Property, rather than buy outright, as it did in 2019 at a huge site in Ohio that was turned into a distribution center.
With footfall at its lowest point in history for many malls, Amazon may have the freedom to negotiate very reasonable rent rates, with the WSJ estimating costs as low as $4 per square foot - whereas many warehouse rents average about $10.
We're still waiting to hear exactly when Amazon Prime Day 2020 will take place this year, as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the company to move its sales extravaganza.
Officially, Amazon is only saying that Prime Day 2020 is delayed in the US and other regions of the world. Previously, the date was thought to be happening in September, but an email to third-party sellers suggests big Amazon deals will launch in October.
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Via: Wall Street Journal