Thursday, 7 July, 2022
E-paper

Amazon aims to sublet, end warehouse leases as online sales cool

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 22nd May, 2022 12:22:47 PM
  • Print news

Amazon.com Inc., stuck with too much warehouse capacity now that the surge in pandemic-era shopping has faded, is looking to sublet at least 10 million square feet of space and could vacate even more by ending leases with landlords, according to people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg reported.

The excess capacity includes warehouses in New York, New Jersey, Southern California and Atlanta, said the people, who requested anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak about the deals. The surfeit of space could far exceed 10 million square feet, two of the people said, with one saying it could be triple that. Another person close to the deliberations said a final estimate on the square footage to be vacated hasn’t been reached and that the figure remains in flux.

Amazon could try to negotiate lease terminations with existing landlords, including Prologis Inc., an industrial real estate developer that counts the e-commerce giant as its biggest tenant, two of the people said.

In a sign that Amazon is being careful not to cut too deeply should demand quickly rebound, the 10 million square feet the company is looking to sublet is roughly equivalent to about 12 of its largest fulfillment centers or about 5% of the square footage added during the pandemic. In another signal that Amazon is hedging its bets, some of the sublet terms would last just one or two years.

The company declined to say which space it plans to sublet or confirm the amount.