You likely recall that Sears Holdings, formally Sears, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, immediately closing 700 stores across the United States.

With 70 years under its belt as a prime retailer in Victoria Texas, Sears closed their doors inside of our Victoria Mall in 2019.

This past June, Texas-chain retailer, J.C. Penny, filed for bankruptcy protection making it the largest company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US at that time.

JC Penny began the liquidation process with the intent of permanently closing at least 242 stores throughout the US, 7 of which in Texas. Although it looks like Victoria's JC Pennys will remain open for now, Dallas, Greenville, Huntsville, Lewisville, Lufkin, Palestine and Paris were not so lucky. The list of US closures went on as Pennys hoped to shed debt while potentially dividing the company into two parts; an operational business AND a real estate investment trust.

With Victoria Sears closing and our JC Pennys trying to recover, it's' interesting news to read that Amazon is looking into converting empty retail space into fulfillment centers throughout the US.

According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the US is in talks with Amazon.com Inc, to take over space left by failed department stores throughout the US, including Texas.

"Simon Property Group Inc. has been exploring with Amazon the possibility of turning some of the property owner’s anchor department stores into Amazon distribution hubs, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon typically uses these warehouses to store everything from books and sweaters to kitchenware and electronics until delivery to local customers," further adding, "The talks have focused on converting stores formerly or currently occupied by J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp., these people said. The department-store chains have both filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and as part of their plans have been closing dozens of stores across the country. Simon malls have 63 Penney and 11 Sears stores, according to its most recent public filing in May."

There are currently 110 Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the United States. Could we potentially see empty Victoria Mall retail space used as an Amazon fulfillment center in the future?

Check out this video by Cleveland.com inside of an Amazon Fulfillment Center

As always, we will keep you updated as local and community trending news occurs.

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