Amazon and other online retail destinations are killing brick and mortar stores. That’s the common sentiment wafting its way around Wall Street. But mall mogul Rick Caruso thinks the opposite.
“Amazon Is Great For Retail”
At the Milken Global Conference, Rick Caruso bucked consensus, asserting that “Amazon has been great for retail.” Why does Caruso, a principal of the famed “Grove” shopping mall in Los Angeles, believe online Amazon could be brick and mortar’s saving grace? He points to an emerging trend: Brands starting online, becoming successful, and then branching out into physical stores. Caruso cites Warby Parker — the wildly popular eyeglass company with Internet roots — and Amazon’s bookstores as two examples.
The retail luminary also praised Amazon for forcing “retailers to be smarter and know their customers better.”
Are Indoor Malls Doomed, Though?
Caruso, however, doesn’t think all retail was created equal. “You’re not going to save indoor retail…The malls are going to die unless you reinvent them,” he predicted, but positively concluded that “good brick and mortar is going to flourish.”
Also at the conference was Ross Perot, Jr. who is equally enthusiastic about Amazon. And it’s no wonder, as Perot’s company is developing eight new Amazon fulfillment centers. He marveled at Amazon’s growth and called the company’s rise “stunning to watch.”
Future Product Delivery Plans For Amazon and Uber
Ostensibly excited about Amazon-partnership programs still in the development stage, Perot also touched on Uber Elevate. A joint venture between Uber and Amazon, the project would involve “drone stations” where Amazon packages “take off” on drones, and then dock on top of Uber cars for the last mile of the delivery journey.
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