Faced with closing stores and dwindling foot traffic, US mall owners have been looking beyond retailers to occupy their empty spaces. One telling shift has included converting stores into e-commerce fulfillment warehouses, and now Amazon reportedly wants in.
The e-commerce juggernaut has been in talks with Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the US, about turning some of the spaces occupied by its anchor department stores into distribution centers, according to the Wall Street Journal. The talks have focused on spaces held by JC Penney, which filed for bankruptcy in May, and Sears, which has struggled since its 2018 bankruptcy filing.
The Journal said it was unclear how many stores were under discussion and that the companies might not reach an agreement. “Amazon has a policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation,” Rachael Lighty, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement to Quartz.