Black Friday has come and gone, but the shopping phenomenon may continue to have repercussions for world couriers and logistics companies in the years to come.
Tim Davies, the head of Europe, Middle East and Africa industrial and logistics at global real estate firm Colliers International, said retailers must adapt to cope with the increasing demands of today’s ecommerce customers.
He told SHDLogistics.com that organisations may need to invest in super-sized warehouses to ensure their operations can handle events like Black Friday.
“The way in which people shop has changed fundamentally in the past year, and this is having a significant effect on warehouse property,” he stated.
Figures from PCA Predict showed that online traffic just after midnight on Black Friday was up 130 per cent when compared with last year. The number of internet shoppers was also three times higher than the previous night.
Mr Davies said an increasing number of businesses are now opting for more warehouse space rather than expanding their bricks-and-mortar retail operations. This trend is due to warehouses being more cost-effective.
“With retailers conducting so much business online, then there is less need for them to maintain stock within their shops,” he explained.
He cited a Colliers International report, titled ‘From Sheds to Shelves’, which predicted industrial property will outperform commercial property in the UK between 2015 and 2019.
The study also claimed millions of square feet of e-retail warehousing space will be required if online shopping reaches forecast targets of comprising 20 per cent of all purchases.
According to Mr Davies, the UK may eventually see ‘skyscraper’ warehouses, where large-scale distribution centres are spread across several storeys. These structures already exist in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.