Amazon to Consider Shuttered Sears Stores


On Thursday, April 11th CNBC reported that BMO Capital Markets is proposing the possible conversion of shuttered Sears and K-mart locations to either Whole Foods or the whispered Amazon grocery stores. Apparently Sears has 480 locations still open with 80 scheduled for closure. The company previously closed 430 locations divided among 260 being wound-down and 170 that are vacant.

The viability of the closed department stores would depend on their location. Most of the shuttered Sears stores are in low-income areas and would not be attractive to a high-end chain such as Whole Foods. If Amazon intends to develop a low-price, no-frills chain, up to 300 Sears and K-mart locations could be considered. Since many Sears stores are located in malls, they would be a less convenient option for consumers. Where closed Sears stores were located in strip malls, a supermarket anchor tenant would obviously object to conversion to a competing grocery store. After the acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017, Amazon discovered that in many cases, they were restricted with respect to using Whole Foods stores as pick-up points for E-commerce based on lease restrictions limiting the synergy from of the acquired locations.