The retail warehousing sector has had a tough decade, challenged by changing consumer habits and rising competition from e-commerce.
Consumer spending in Europe dropped from €2.64bn (EU28) in 2007 to €2.55 bn in 2013. Although this was only 3% drop, the impact on retail warehousing goods sectors has been higher, up to -10%. This has changed consumer habits, with value and convenience becoming top priorities.
Although retail sales have recovered and are expected to reach a new high this year, €2.86bn by end of the year, the biggest challenge for the sector has been the rising share of e-commerce, particularly in the retail warehousing product categories.
Online sales have increased by 2.5 times over the past decade, reaching various degrees of penetration, from 3.5%-5% in CEE and SEE, to 7.5%-10% in WE and up to 15.1% in Germany and 17.8% in the UK.
The result of this has been a number of retailer insolvencies in the sector leading to vacancies in retail parks. Many of the retailers that survived started downsizing to cope with the market share losses and to adapt to consumer habits.
Source : Savills