Amazon could be headed to a mall near you.
Simon Malls, the largest mall owner in the United States, is in talks with Amazon to convert former or current JCPenney and Sears stores into distribution hubs to deliver packages. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal Sunday.
The strategy is part of an effort by Amazon to make space closer to where customers live to speed up shipping times. Simon Property Group has 74 Sears and JCPenney.
The deal would be to fill empty space, not as an effort to encourage additional foot traffic within malls. No specific locations or number of stores was mentioned in the report.
Amazon has already implemented the strategy in Ohio at Euclid Square Mall and Randell Park Mall in Ohio. Amazon built a new distribution center at Randell Park Mall in 2018 and demolished the former Euclid Square Mall Shopping Center to create a new distribution center.
Bradley’s Northfield Square was once owned by Simon Malls. The mall is now co-owned by Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group. The nearest Simon property is in Orland Park. Joliet’s Louis Joliet Mall is owned by Starwood Capital Group.
Amazon and Simon have yet to comment on the report.