Retail giant JCPenney filed for bankruptcy just over a week ago. The company said they would permanently close about 240 of its 846 stores over the next two years. JCPenney is one of the many companies who have suffered economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although spending has slowed across industries, that didn’t stop Amazon from immediately eyeing this potential opportunity. Women’s Wear Daily recently reported that Amazon is communicating with struggling JCPenney, in hopes to arrange a deal. According to the trade publication, Amazon executives were in meetings this past week at JCPenney’s offices in Plano, Texas.
The potential deal would be a valuable asset to Amazon, allowing them to expand their brick-and-mortar footprint in a relatively cheap and quick way. This isn’t Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar venture either. The powerhouse brand purchased Whole Foods in 2017, which solidified their brand name in the grocery space.
There are plenty of suspicions up in the air for what this possible retail buy could mean for Amazon, such as:
- The potential to expand and enhance Amazon’s own apparel business in the brick-and-mortar landscape.
- Turn some of JCPenney’s properties into satellite distribution centers.
- Use JCPenney’s key suburban markets for additional last-mile delivery locations, package pickup, or drop-off hubs.
- Convert JCPenney units into a new tech-driven retail model.
These speculations have brought on many opinions from retail experts, including Bob Young, Executive Managing Director for Weitzman Group.
“Apparel is still important and that’s what really Penney’s evolved to, an apparel store. Maybe the Penney’s deal for Amazon is another billboard of sorts where they enter into a business where they think they can bring efficiencies and economies of scale to it to make it work,” Young said.
Amazon has not confirmed whether this deal is true or false. However, if this opportunity does pan out, this will be known as a historical power move for brick-and-mortar in the retail space. And, it will (once again) prove the undeniable connection between people and physical spaces.
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home retailers, combines an expansive footprint of approximately 850 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico with a powerful e-commerce site, jcp.com, to deliver style and value for all hard-working American families. At every touchpoint, customers will discover stylish merchandise at incredible value from an extensive portfolio of private, exclusive and national brands. Reinforcing this shopping experience is the customer service and warrior spirit of nearly 90,000 associates across the globe, all driving toward the Company’s mission to help customers find what they love for less time, money and effort. For additional information, please visit jcp.com.
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