Amazon considering mall space in US for warehouses: Report

In a bid to improve the last-mile delivery, Amazon is in discussions with the largest mall owner in the US to convert space left by some of its anchor department stores into distribution hubs for the e-commerce giant, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The talks with the Simon Property Group have revolved around using some of the closed J.C. Penney and Sears stores, said the report on Sunday.

The news comes at a time when Covid-19 has sharpened the focus on disruptions faced by the retail companies due to the rise of e-commerce platforms.

As Covid-19 restrictions put strains on retail stores, Amazon reported solid results in the second quarter of this year, registering a 40 per cent increase in net sales to $88.9 billion, compared with $63.4 billion in the same period last year.

As the Jeff Bezos-led company focuses on quicker delivery of stuff, having warehouses closer to residential areas would be in line with its delivery strategy, the WSJ noted.

It is, however, not clear how many stores Amazon is considering.

The report, which has not been confirmed by either Amazon or Simon Property Group, noted that it would be quite unusual for Simon to lease space to an e-commerce giant in a mall.

JCPenney in June said it identified 152 stores for closure. The company filed for bankruptcy in May.