Modern logistics facilities are now a bedrock of tech-led commerce whilst shopping centres, the erstwhile catalyst of urban regeneration projects, struggle to compete with the 24/7/365 shopping available on our smart phones from the comfort of home. The pandemic has accelerated online demand and forced local planning authorities to review their previous hesitancy to encourage logistic parks and now embrace new employment sites to attract tech companies to their regions to replace jobs in the traditional retail sector.
Competition for prime sites increases cost of acquisition that in turn brings innovation to the UK logistics market – for example, multi-story facilities and other solutions that help evolve the market. Indeed, the repositioning of struggling retail sites into logistics uses has already commenced, as secondary retail can no longer compete for the space.
The final keystone may however be the technology companies themselves. The likes of Amazon, Walmart and the Hut Group already have the proprietary technology that enables them to host the branded websites for other companies. In addition, their integrated logistics capability enables them to look to the delivery solution itself, previously the domain of the third party logistic companies.
Innovation is at the heart of the technology-led online market and logistics is the real estate “essential” to make it all work.
About the author(s)
Mike Trainer is Joint Head of Logistics and has more than 20 years' experience as a real estate development and investment lawyer.