Amazon buys up storage space at record rate

Published on: 3rd January 2018

The online retailer acquired an estimated 4m square feet in 2017 – enough to cover 63 football pitches.

This was five times more space than its closest rival, according to research by Savills, as it increased its total warehouse space in the UK to 19.7m sq ft.

Amazon is at the forefront of the boom in online shopping, which has supercharged demand for industrial land as companies rush to keep up. In 2008 online retailers signed just 1.47m sq ft but by 2017 this has risen to 12.2m sq ft.

A report by Deutsche Bank suggests there is now so much call for storage space that traditional retail parks could be converted into warehouses.

It said: “Under-utilised retail assets such as certain shopping centres, retail parks, business parks, supermarket premises, inner city office space and car parks could be used for the storage and distribution of goods.”

Savills said that the trend would only accelerate as sales from events such as Black Friday, which is traditionally focused on bricks-and-mortar shops, increasingly shifted online.

Kevin Mofid, head of industrial research at the estate agent, said the level of growth even exceeded the expansion of supermarkets when they were building larger, out-of-town centres.

He added: “You had a point about ten years ago when the grocers, –Tesco, Sainsbury’s and so on – were very active and they took a lot of space but it was nowhere near this level.”


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