Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Amazon in the Mall: Putting the Fox in the Hen House

Last week General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani noted on an earning conference call that Amazon was planning to open up from 300-400 mall stores. He quickly back-tracked by stating that his comment "was not intended to represent Amazon's plans." 

I have no idea whether or not Amazon will embark on such an ambitious plan, but what I do suspect is that Amazon is not going to blow up its business model by opening up a bunch of book stores on very expensive real estate. My guess is that if Amazon is going to go the physical retailing route it will be more than selling books and their proprietary hardware. 

Picture if you will a catalog store that offers the customer the entire Amazon product line in a very easy to use format that goes well beyond today's smart phones. Of a sudden the mall customer would be able to readily comparison shop the entire mall and with that the pricing structure within the mall will crater. This would not be a happy outcome for retailers and their landlords, the giant mall REITs.

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