Between the shift in consumer shopping trends and the United States’ most recent change in leadership, 2017 has already been a year of great transition and adaptation. Inevitably, multiple industries will be faced with some notable changes throughout the remainder of the year.
Here are several trends that have emerged in industrial real estate during the first half of 2017:
The Need for More Inventory Space
Given the rise of e-commerce, more and more retailers are seeking ways to expand their inventory space at the lowest cost. For many companies, this has meant expanding vertically to accommodate a variety of suppliers without increasing the building’s physical footprint.
“Last Mile” Distribution Centers
Again, the e-commerce boom has not only led to an increase in online shopping and ordering, but to companies fulfilling said orders at a much faster rate as well. In order to achieve such a feat, many companies have established “last mile” distribution centers that are closer to consumers, thus ensuring rapid delivery and satisfying customers’ desire to get the items they want and get them quickly.
The Rise of Shallow Bay Buildings
In order to accommodate consumer needs and ensure speedy delivery rates, architects have begun constructing shallow bay buildings. These compact distribution centers are usually located close to major consumer areas and can house more suppliers than a traditional warehouse building. Although the building may be compact, its surrounding area is anything but, seeing as shallow bay buildings require large parking lots to accommodate an increasing number of employees.
An Updated Customer Experience
More retailers are beginning to embrace mobile data, which affords them the opportunity to monitor how consumers move and interact with merchandise – both in-store and online. Additionally, mobile data in the form of mobile apps allow retailers to interact more easily with their clients by sending coupons, sale reminders, and other promotions directly to clients’ smartphones.
Strengthened Physical and Online Security
With the increase of sophisticated online and physical attacks, many companies suffered great losses during 2016. Given these circumstances, the importance of security has continued to grow. Although the extent to which these expanded security measures are used greatly depends on the company’s product and target consumers, a few popular trends include: protection of product flow, increased security in online transactions, and additional security measures for employees to pass through before entering the warehouse.
Increased Popularity of Foreign Trade Zones
In spite of President Trump’s anti-foreign-goods mentality, retailers across the nation are flocking to foreign trade zones in order to receive goods at a faster pace and lower cost. This tactic aids a company’s ability to quickly deliver products to consumers without breaking the bank or charging exorbitant delivery fees, resulting in a win-win situation for all parties involved.