Amazon Is Going To The Mall
With the steady decline of the famed American Mall, abandoned storefronts and bankrupt businesses are already being repurposed as offices and apartment buildings in some cities. However, most malls don’t reside in popular destinations surrounded by restaurants and entertainment hubs like those in New York City, Los Angeles, or Miami. Many malls are off of a highway, or farther away from many other businesses. Because of this newfound empty space, Amazon is finding an advantage.
In an unexpected collaboration as an outcome of the pandemic’s affect on malls, Amazon is in talks with Simon Property Group. So far, establishments like The Shops at Nanuet and The Palisades Center have been in serious talks with how they will renovate and revitalize their vacancies. Conversations about turning them into convention spaces, offices, and hotels have been in the works, but a new idea is turning investors’ heads- warehouse and fulfillment centers. Amazon’s growth has been astronomical. They’ve gained $570 billion in market capitalization so far in 2020, along with a hefty 64.4% increase in stock. With all of their expansions, Amazon is one of the few major businesses actively hiring (mostly stock positions) amidst the pandemic. Hiring personnel is one thing, but having the actual warehouse space is another.
In order for malls to meet their bottom line amidst a continued abandonment of storefronts, this trade off will certainly give malls a different look, but may happen due to pure necessity. To me, this feels incredibly dystopic- to go to a mall and see a giant Amazon fulfillment center instead of where JCPenney used to be would feel a bit like we’re entering a new phase of mass consumerism, but to mall owners, they might just help them to survive.
By Adi Shoham