Amazon is reportedly in talks with Simon Property Group, America’s biggest mall owner, to turn empty retail space into Amazon warehouses that process and ship online orders, according to a Wall Street Journal report .
As part of the deal, Amazon could take over former anchor department-store spaces previously occupied by Sears and JCPenney, both of which have filed for bankruptcy and closed dozens of stores in recent months. Simon is pursuing an acquisition of JCPenney, which would grant the landlord more control over how current and former store spaces are used.
The deal could benefit Amazon by providing well-located warehouse space in cities across the US, potentially allowing the online retailer to decrease its delivery times on shipments. Some of Amazon’s existing fulfillment centers already occupy old strip malls that have gone out of business.
Mall landlords typically prioritize finding tenants that will bring in new customers, like stores and gyms. Amazon fulfillment centers wouldn’t draw people other than their own employees. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional retail stores have seen revenues waver, while Amazon’s sales have surged .
Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.