By Gary Tasman
COVID-19 has changed the way we all look at retail, both online and traditional brick-and-mortar. As a result, warehouse and retail spaces are in demand as we transition into new ways of doing business. If you have retail or industrial real estate, buyers may be searching for your property right now. In fact, it’s the perfect time to sell for many commercial property owners in our region.
For the last decade, we’ve watched online sales slowly climb as a part of overall retail, and recent COVID-19 safe-at-home orders have accelerated this trend. More people are shopping online than ever before. The market research company eMarketer predicts e-commerce will be responsible for about 14.5% percent of total retail sales, or $710 billion, this year. That trend only figures to climb over the next four years, making up 18% of all retail sales by the middle of the decade.
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This trend has created the need for many companies to expand their production, storage, and distribution capabilities and facilities. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce leasing activity is exploding. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, about 35% of industrial leasing activity was related to e-commerce, said Shawn Stoneburner of Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property of Southwest Florida. Stoneburner says the first quarter of this year was one of the strongest leasing quarters in three years nationwide.
Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida and its access to strong local and national resources are in the perfect position to fill any retail or fulfillment space demand from a vast inventory throughout the region, especially for those tied into the e-commerce boom. With more people staying home and shopping online, projections are that an additional 1 billion square feet of industrial and warehouse space could be needed by 2025.
Traditional retail is also back on the rise too, as the nation and Southwest Florida gradually reopen. Despite headlines about closures at national retailers like JC Penney and Neiman Marcus, many brick-and-mortar retailers are seeing an uptick in business, and are on the hunt for new and better commercial space that better meets the “new normal” needs of the consumer.
According to data released recently by the US Census Bureau, retail sales, including food services, jumped 7.5% in June after climbing a dramatic 18.2% in May, buoyed by the country reopening its economy. Although record declines were the story in March and April, the June rebound actually surpassed retail sales from June of 2019. Retail categories experiencing positive market changes are sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, food and beverage stores, building materials, garden equipment and supply dealers, automotive parts and tire stores.
Lee County has existing space available that can be converted quickly to meet the needs created by COVID-19. If you own a commercial property, now is the perfect time to sell, as there are qualified buyers ready to make a move. The experts at Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida are your go-to team for commercial property needs. We are equipped with the passion, knowledge, creativity, data and inventory to help businesses find the commercial properties they need to become better because of the pandemic.
The team at Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida wants to speak with you, show you our inventory and develop a plan that best fits your needs. Reach us at 239-829-5400 or email [email protected].
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