Amazon Ramps Up Land Buys As It Pulls Out Of Leased Spaces
Amazon has reportedly spent more than $2B on property acquisitions in the last two years, as the e-commerce giant shifts from being a tenant to an owner-operator.
Amazon has been adapting its strategy away from leasing warehouses to buying and developing its own facilities, Bisnow reported last year. Since 2020, the company has spent $2.3B buying more than 5,000 acres, according to CoStar.
The acquisitions span land, offices, warehouses and shopping centers. Some 400 of those acres were purchased in the last three months, CoStar reported. In recent months, the company has closed or canceled the opening of 28 delivery hubs, according to supply chain consulting firm MWPVL International's data reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Bisnow first reported last fall that Amazon was in the process of shifting its real estate strategy from largely leasing space to ownership. The shift sent shockwaves of concern across the development community, a sector for which Amazon has fueled enormous growth.
“I think you have to be leery if you're engaging with Amazon today in lease discussion,” Wharton Equity Partners Chairman Peter Lewis said at a Bisnow event in November.
In May, Bloomberg reported that the Jeff Bezos-founded company was making plans to sublet as much as 30M SF of warehouse space across several key markets — including Atlanta, New York, New Jersey and Southern California.
Amazon is due to report second-quarter earnings this week, and its share price dropped over 4% on Monday, according to CNBC, off the back of Walmart announcing it will lower profit guidance for the year and the quarter.
Inflation, which was 9% in June, is hitting Amazon hard; the firm has already lifted the price of its Prime membership as much as 43% in Europe and the UK as a result.
The company had over $34B in cash on its balance sheet at the end of the first quarter, per CoStar. This month it paused construction on six of its planned office towers around the U.S., recognizing a cultural shift to hybrid work.