Editorial credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke / Shutterstock.com
Amazon has reportedly been in contact with the largest mall owner in the US, Simon Property Group, to discuss the possibility of turning some department stores into Amazon distribution hubs. The move would open up more locations for Amazon to store its wide range of products until they are shipped to local customers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the talks have so far been focused on converting stores formerly or currently occupied by J.C. Penney and Sears, which have both filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Converting prime retail space in malls would signal the next step in Amazon’s retail dominance, as the e-commerce giant’s online marketplace has been a major factor in many retailers’ declines.
Simon Property Group’s 204 properties offer Amazon two key advantages which make them prime locations for its distribution and fulfillment centers - location and space. Malls are positioned closer to consumers’ homes that a traditional warehouse, which can allow Amazon to speed up last-mile delivery times and better meet its one-day delivery promise. Additionally, these centrally located properties already have sprawling parking lots to host Amazon’s large and growing fleet of delivery vans.
Amazon has invested billions in new airport hubs, electric vans, and warehouses since it added “transportation and logistics services” to the group of competitors listed in its 2019 annual report. Meet the team that is driving the explosive growth of Amazon’s network of warehouses, trucks, and planes.
Alicia Boler Davis is the company’s Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment with Amazon. She oversees Amazon’s network of over 175 fulfillment centers across 16 countries. Any game-changing deal to place Amazon’s fulfillment operations in malls across the US will likely fall under her purview. Her role is becoming increasingly important to Amazon as it continues to scale its delivery services and implement faster and faster delivery times.
Physical warehouse space isn’t the only way Amazon is improving its logistics offerings as it is also investing in cutting edge technologies to bring greater efficiency to its fulfillment network. Leading these efforts is Devesh Mishra, the Vice President of Supply Chain Optimization Technology. In this role, he leads a team that innovates new and exciting solutions, like the optimization models that squeeze maximum efficiency out of Amazon’s massive supply chain.
As of March 2020, David Carbon is the new Amazon exec in charge of its nascent electric delivery drone service, called Prime Air, replacing Gur Kimchi, who has taken an unspecified new role. Prime Air's drones are capable of carrying 5 pounds of packages up to 15 miles, can drastically cut emissions as they can fly over obstacles like traffic and avoid winding roads to take the most efficient route. The technology Carbon is perfecting could change the way Amazon delivers packages by cutting down delivery times and reducing operational costs like fuel and labor. This potential to revolutionize the last mile of delivery makes him an important figure in the future of the company’s logistics network.
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