• From NBC News:
"Malls that buckled due to e-commerce or suffered during the pandemic are being given new life by the very entity that precipitated their decline — Amazon.
"Over the last several months, the retail giant has gone on a shopping spree of its own, buying up disused malls across the country and turning them into distribution centers.
"In March, Amazon won approval to turn a mall in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, into a 3.4 million-square-foot distribution building, and a mall in Knoxville, Tennessee, into a 220,000-square-foot distribution center. In December, the local planning board in Worcester, Massachusetts, signed off on Amazon's request to convert the city's Greendale Mall into a 121,000-square-foot distribution center.
"Between 2016 and 2019, Amazon converted around 25 shopping malls, according to an analysis by Coresight Research. Last year, it was reportedly in talks with Simon Property Group, the country's biggest mall owner, to convert bankrupt JCPenney and Sears department stores into fulfillment centers. Target and Walmart have also turned some space in their own stores into mini fulfillment centers."
• Reuters reports that "U.S. securities regulators on Wednesday turned down an exemption sought by Amazon.com Inc to stop its investors from considering a shareholder proposal related to racial equity at the e-commerce giant.
"The decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission followed an appeal by Amazon to block the non-binding proposal from being voted on at the company’s upcoming annual meeting."
The story notes that "the proposal was first filed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on behalf of New York State Common Retirement Fund in December, seeking to independently audit the company’s policies and practices on civil rights and racial discrimination."