Distribution warehouses expanded to the tune of more than 200 football pitches last year, as pandemic momentum for e-commerce firms continues to swell.
An additional 1.5 mm² space has been snapped up by e-commerce firms, according to an analysis of official data by law firm RPC, exclusively shared with CityA.M.
E-commerce sales were worth £28bn last year, as the pandemic has helped accelerate a trend towards digital retailers.
Retailers’ capital expenditure was increasingly being spent on logistics, with automated warehouses paying for themselves within three to five years of capex investment, Jeremy Drew, co-head of retail and partner at RPC, said.
“Consumers are now demanding more options for delivery of goods, whether it’s for delivery or click and collect. Retailers across all sectors are striving to cut the time from purchase to delivery,” he added.
While the total floorspace for large distribution warehouses in the UK has expanded by four per cent to 36m m2 , total retail sector floorspace dropped last year.
Retail sector floorspace dropped to 105.6m m2 down from 105.9 m2 in the previous year, with the exclusion of temporarily vacant floorspace. Some 14 per cent of all retail space is vacant at the moment.
Big names were forced to shut shop during the pandemic, including Debenhams and Topshop.