Amazon could turn shopping malls into glorious fulfillment centers.

Amazon has long been accused of turning brick-and-mortar stores into showrooms of products that people ultimately decide to buy online. Currently, the company is said to be experimenting with using these retailers as fulfillment centers for customers who want same-day delivery.

Bloomberg report(Opens in a new window) Amazon is commissioning Amazon Flex drivers to ship products from local malls to Amazon shoppers. These trials are known to be taking place in at least three cities across the United States: Chandler, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tysons Corner, Virginia.

Amazon users may never realize that their purchase was delivered from a nearby shopping mall. Bloomberg reports that Amazon lists products available for same-day delivery, and when someone orders it, an Amazon Flex article picks it up at a partner retailer.

This setup makes Amazon an intermediary for almost every aspect of the shopping experience. Products are listed on online marketplaces, purchased by customers and delivered by drivers. A brick-and-mortar store is essentially just a fulfillment center.

But it could be a better fate than many other stores. Mall vacancies across the United States have been increasing over the years, New York Times report(Opens in a new window) In August 2021, the pandemic was not kind to the former hotspots of US commerce.

“This is another way to connect Amazon sellers and customers through convenient shipping options,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg. They also said that only “a few” of the company’s partners were participating in these experiments, but they did not share anything else.

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