The rise in demand for short term space in the logistics market is hardly surprising as retailers and suppliers seek to deal with the surge in online demand.
Companies will naturally be reluctant to commit to long term capacity increases until clear patterns emerge following the easing of 'lockdown' but it is likely that the shift in consumer habit to increased online retail has been accelerated and to a large extent is here to stay.
The interesting thing with Primark is that they have the opposite problem in that their requirement for additional space is driven by the inability to shift stock at all owing to having no online retail capability.
To suddenly create a sophisticated online retail offering is a big ask but there are rumours that they are considering a click and collect option to assist with clearing the backlog.
As retailers battle with capacity issues many store units themselves are being turned in to distribution centres. Before doing so, tenants would need to consider their user clauses carefully and potentially negotiate an amendment with their landlord. Planning restrictions would also need to be considered as well as the surrounding infrastructure in terms of coping with increased traffic flow.
It will be interesting to see whether that model gains traction going forward as they can be a useful addition to a fulfilment network as they generally have central urban locations.
Watch this (retail) space....
Primark hires Savills to help find space to temporarily store its excess stock ordered before the lockdown