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Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that mall owners - many of them battered by an economy in which people increasingly go online to shop instead of to their local shopping centers - are seeing Amazon as a possible life preserver.

The reason? Between its Whole Foods chain, its Amazon Books and Amazon Go stores, and now the new supermarket chain that it is rumored to be about to launch, Amazon is seen as a potential player in the bricks-and-mortar retail business.

“Brokers and landlords believe that Amazon - more so than other retailers - has the expertise to draw the right crowd of shoppers, given its trove of consumer data on which products have the most demand in a given location,” the story says. “Amazon Prime members, who tend to have more disposable income, are considered especially desirable.”
KC's View:
Ironic, huh? And this doesn’t even include the possibility that a bunch of empty Sears stores could be used as Amazon distribution centers.

But I wouldn’t get too hopeful … because it seems likely to me that if Amazon is going to open bricks-and-mortar stores to the degree that some think it will (and I’m not as convinced of this as some), it is likely to be in malls and shopping centers that are not distressed, and in fact have remained relevant to their core shoppers. I see very little percentage in Amazon investing in already distressed real estate that is, let’s face it, distressed for a reason.