man holding shopping bags

Amazon’s Potential Deal With the Country’s Largest Mall Owner

A New Era of Shopping

Amazon (AMZN) and Simon Property Group (SPG) (the largest mall owner in the US) are in talks about converting empty department store space into Amazon fulfillment centers. This potential deal highlights two trends that have been accelerated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: the decline of malls and the rise of ecommerce.

JCPenney (JCPNQ) and Sears (SHLDQ), two anchor tenants in malls across the country, recently filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Both companies’ plans include closing dozens of their locations in malls. Meanwhile, demand for Amazon’s services has surged as people practice social distancing and avoid in-person shopping. Despite logistical challenges when the pandemic first set in, Amazon recently reported double-digit revenue growth year-over-year.

Amazon’s Perspective

For Amazon, a deal with Simon Property Group to put fulfillment centers in former department store locations would help achieve its goal of speeding up the “last mile” stage of its delivery process. Malls are often located close to highways and residential areas, making them attractive to Amazon.

Amazon has already acquired some defunct malls and turned them into fulfillment centers. FedEx (FDX) and DHL International GmbH have also adopted this strategy.

Simon Property Group’s Outlook

For Simon Property Group, a deal with Amazon would have costs and benefits. Renting prime retail space to Amazon would impact the longstanding business model malls have relied on: drawing customers to restaurants and small retailers with a large anchor tenant like a department store. In fact, some smaller mall tenants have co-tenancy clauses in their rental agreements which allow them to break leases or pay reduced rent if larger tenants move out. Replacing department stores with Amazon fulfillment centers could invoke these clauses. However, it may still be better for Simon Property to fill the space with an Amazon warehouse than to have it sit empty.

By making a deal with Amazon, Simon Property would have a consistent, reliable tenant at a time when the future of retail and retail real estate is uncertain. Investors in traditional retail and in ecommerce will be carefully watching to see how talks between the two companies unfold.

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender