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Why is Amazon Making Play for Toys ‘R’ Us Stores?

National  + Weekender  | 

With the Whole Foods deal behind it, Amazon is now turning its attention to a possible takeover of some Toys ‘R’ Us stores. The giant e-commerce retailer is reportedly considering making a bid in bankruptcy court for prime store locations, in an effort to build its retail presence and increase its distribution footprint. That network expansion could help Amazon improve its quick delivery services to e-commerce customers.

The move looks to be a pure real estate play, since the Toys ‘R’ Us brand would not be maintained. Toys ‘R’ Us is shutting down its U.S. operations involving more than 700 locations. Amazon is interested in stores that will soon become available as part of those bankruptcy proceedings. That includes stores vacated in malls and other sites that would be used to showcase home products, such as voice-activated Echo appliances.

The Seattle-based online retailer acquired Whole Foods last year, which brought in more than 450 locations. Two other Amazon brick-and-mortar plays include opening its own line of bookstores, as well as a convenience-store concept.

The strategy to establish a physical experience is envisioned as a way to give customers a chance to check out Amazon’s technology products in real-world settings, rather than only relying on a computer encounter. Not only would inventory be closer to where shoppers live, a larger Amazon store network could also serve as a staging ground for grocery deliveries from Whole Foods stores.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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