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Amazon Exploring Use Of JC Penney, Sears Stores As Fulfillment Centers: Report

amazonjcpenney aug10 lt

Amazon.com, Inc. is in talks with mall operator Simon Property Group, Inc. to use the abandoned anchor departmental stores of JC Penny and Sears at their malls as fulfillment centers, reports said. This is expected to help the e-commerce giant in boosting their last mile delivery, which is the last leg of the delivery process.

This will enable one of the largest mall operator in the U.S. to monetize the huge number of abandoned commercial real-estate properties under their custody. However, it will not in any way help drive footfalls into malls.

Both JC Penny and Sears have recently filed for bankruptcy protection and closed dozens of their stores operating at prominent malls. Gaining access to these large warehouse spaces in prime locations in cities across the U.S. will help Amazon in reducing delivery time for orders.

Malls operated by Simon Property reportedly have about 60 JC Penny and about 10 Sears stores. Amazon is said to be negotiating for about 100,000 square foot, multi-story spaces for operating their fulfillment centers. At a time like this, Amazon could get these spaces for a song.

Across the country, majority of retail stores have been forced to close stores for months due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, hurting their sales. Even before the pandemic outbreak, slowing foot traffic amid the ever-increasing online competition from industry majors and the changing consumer habits had led to many retailers shuttering stores and seek bankruptcy protection.

Amazon's Warehouses are called "fulfillment centers" and the entire process is fulfilled from start to finish after the inventory comes in from manufacturers to be shipped out directly to customers. It currently has more than 110 operational fulfillment centers across North America.

Across the globe, Amazon has more than 175 operating fulfillment centers and more than 150 million square feet of space where associates pick, pack, and ship Amazon.com customer orders to the tune of millions of items per year.

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