Simon Says Amazon Is In
The rise of Amazon came at the expense of many companies, but department stores have been hit particularly hard. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented more challenges for the industry, leading to big players such as Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus Group Ltd., J.C. Penny Co. Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. filing for bankruptcy this year.
Simon Property Group Inc. is the largest mall owner in America. The struggles of department stores have hurt Simon’s business, but the mall giant has a plan to come out on top in the battle between Amazon and department stores.
Simon has been exploring a deal with Amazon to turn some department stores into Amazon distribution centers. The main focus of these discussions has been to convert spaces formerly or currently occupied by JC Penney or Sears into storage warehouses for a variety of Amazon goods.
This is a risky move for Simon. On the one hand, it could be distancing themselves from a struggling industry while gaining more reliable cash flow from a growing company. On the other hand, department stores are an important part of the mall business model because they attract customers to nearby shops and restaurants.
The talks are yet another blow to already ailing department stores.
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.