Amazon's Whole Foods Eyeing Vacant Sears Sites: Reports
Amazon's Whole Foods operation is reportedly eyeing up vacant Sears sites as potential locations for expansion, according to reports.
Department store chain Sears announced it had filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, however there are suggestions that a last minute takeover bid from chairman Eddie Lampert might be enough to ensure the chain stays in business.
Yahoo Finance reported that Whole Foods is also considering sites previously occupied by the Sears-owned Kmart chain.
According to Yahoo, Whole Foods managers recently visited a site in Utah that was previously operated by Kmart, until its closure in 2017.
Whole Foods operates more than 470 stores across the US, which is considerably less than mainstream operators such as Kroger and Walmart.
Over the past three years, Sears has closed 123 Sears outlets and 205 Kmart stores, which could give Amazon a more pronounced footprint at a relatively low cost, should it decide to make a move.
“There are lots of vacant retail space that they can take advantage of, and that gives them access to reasonable retail locations, but I also think they want to secure good real estate deals by filling voids, and getting good rental levels from landlords," Neil Saunders of GlobalData told Yahoo Finance.
Elsewhere, Jim Sud, executive vice president of growth and business development at Whole Foods, is reported to have said that the company will "jump all over" suitable sites, should they become available.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.