Amazon pulls out of Providence Place Mall store deal

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On Thursday, Amazon confirmed to The Globe that they were pulling out of the mall before the store even opened.

“We have decided to close our 4-Star Amazon stores, Books and Pop Up, and focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology,” a company said. . spokesperson. The Amazon Style store will open in the greater Los Angeles area and the company’s first Amazon Go store will open in Mill Creek, Washington later this year.

Two Starbucks Pickup + Amazon Go locations will open in New York City and more than a dozen new Amazon Fresh stores will open in the United States and the United Kingdom, the Seattle-based company announced.

Amazon is also closing 66 stores in the United States and two in the United Kingdom, including three of its stores in Massachusetts, which include locations in Natick, Lynnfield and Dedham.

The company said it was working “closely with all relevant employees” to identify new roles within Amazon, including placements at nearby Amazon stores. If employees choose not to stay with Amazon, they will receive severance pay.

Fresh stores will open in the US and UK.

“We remain committed to creating exceptional, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies,” a company spokesperson said.

For years, as Amazon took over the market from major big-box retailers, other brands filed for bankruptcy, like Neiman Marcus and JC Penney in 2020 alone, adding them to a long list of deposits in Chapter 11, including Toys R Us, Sears, and Circuit City.

Brookfield Properties, the owners of the Providence Place shopping center, fell behind on the property’s mortgage and attempted to refinance its obligations on the property, according to rating agency Fitch in May 2021. The mortgage was placed in special service (a type of loan designed to help resolve distressed commercial real estate loans) in April 2021 “due to a monetary default”, according to Fitch, which downgraded the mall’s credit rating. Brookfield’s loan was modified in August 2021.

In January 2019, Nordstrom – one of the mall’s original mainstays since 1999 – closed its Providence Place store. Pennsylvania-based department store Boscov’s took its place. In 2015, JC Penney informed Brookfield Properties that they planned to exit. The store space was demolished and replaced with an expanded parking garage.

Prior to Amazon’s announcement, the mall’s future was widely in question. Sur La Table, a kitchenware retailer, recently closed its location as the leases of some of the mall’s most lucrative tenants also come to an end. Old Navy’s lease will expire in April, DSW in January 2024, Dave & Buster’s in December 2024, Zara in October 2025 and Providence Place Cinemas in January 2026, according to Fitch Ratings. The other windows remain empty.

Including the Apple store, average store sales inside the mall were $437 per square foot this year, up from $603 per square foot in 2017.


Alexa Gagosz can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.

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