Retail businesses across the country are deeply struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only caused stores to close for months, but has also decreased the amount of foot traffic inside malls that are expected for this time of year.
Though businesses are doing their best to encourage shoppers to come out through deals and reward programs, malls are having to make tough decisions in order to keep doors open and the lights on.
In fact, US mall operator Simon Property Group is looking to convert both vacant and active Sears and JCPenny stores across the country into Amazon distribution centers in order to help the company fulfill online orders.
It should come as a surprise to no one that Amazon is doing very well during these times, as everyone and their mother is looking to order whatever they need online. From cleaning supplies to food to books, Amazon truly has it all.
Not only are JCPenney and Sears locations shutting left and right, but Amazon is in need of more buildings that would allow them to fulfill orders and distribute products faster.
As summer ends and we head into fall (which means Thanksgiving and Christmas are just a few months away), Amazon is preparing for a surplus of online demands that come around every year during the holidays.
It’s currently unknown how many stores Simon Property Group is looking to turn into Amazon distribution centers, but the company does own 63 JCPenney locations and 11 Sears locations.
Not only would being located in malls help Amazon get products to consumers faster, but it could also help them introduce in-store pickup and curbside options that would help consumers get what they’ve ordered in a matter of hours.
Amazon is also looking into opening a grocery store chain, which could also go into any of these mall locations at a later date.
Though the idea of having Amazon stores inside malls may be appealing for consumers, it’s not necessarily what other stores inside the malls are hoping for. Amazon distribution centers would not necessarily contribute to the foot traffic a mall needs to stay in business in the short term, but they could in the long run.
The bottom line is, malls and retail businesses are seriously struggling at the moment, and many could use a little help from Amazon. Though businesses are encouraging people to shop small and buy products from local businesses, there’s no denying the powerhouse that is Amazon.