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Amazon to buy JC Penney

Amazon plans to take over collapsed US department-store giant JC Penney in a move that could redefine the nature of US retailing. The retailer has a team of senior management and consultants at JC Penney’s Texas headquarters going through the numbers and the store portfolio.

And while JC Penney is planning to permanently shutter 245 of its 846 stores across the country as part of a restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Amazon may take over as much as the entire fleet.

The Seattle-based company already dominates the US e-commerce market with a market share of around 49 percent. Small businesses across the US reportedly sell some 4000 items every minute on the platform.

However, as a digital-native company, Amazon has very little physical presence in the form of brick-and-mortar stores. It bought the upmarket Whole Foods grocery chain in 2017 which it has now expanded to 500 stores in the US and it also developed a high-tech, small-format hybrid grocery-convenience store model called Amazon Go which now numbers 26 outlets.