Monday 6 January 2020 3:46 pm

Retail park sold in £50m deal for online warehousing space

A retail park owned by M&G’s shuttered property fund has been bought for more than £50m to be converted into warehouses.

The deal indicates the growing dominance of online retail which requires large amounts of warehouse space to service customers.

The 128,000 sq ft Ravenside retail park in Edmonton north London was reportedly acquired by warehouse company Prologis from investment firm M&G.

M&G suspended trading in its property fund last month after investors rushed to withdraw their money.

Read more: Most retail landlords consider repurposing property

At the end of November 34 per cent of the fund’s assets were drawn from the under-pressure retail sector.

The move to convert a retail park into warehouse space for online retail is symbolic of the increasing importance of online retailers such as Amazon which have grown at the expense of bricks-and-mortar rivals.

Tenants of the Riverside site include children’s retailer Mothercare, which collapsed into administration in November, and Argos, Wickes and Carpetright.

Robin Woodbridge, head of capital deployment UK for Prologis, said: “The UK retail market is changing, as more and more people order goods online.

“Because of this, our customers, who include household retail names such as Amazon, Argos and John Lewis, need logistics facilities close to where people live and work, so they can fulfil deliveries of goods ordered online efficiently.”

Read more: M&G suspends trading in £2.5bn property fund over Brexit fears

A survey by estate agent Savills last year found most retail landlords are considering repurposing their retail property in light of the sector’s travails.

In total, 18 per cent of landlords have already completed a repurposing project and a further 75 per cent are considering making the move.

Last month Aberdeen Standard Investments offloaded the biggest asset in its property fund following a spike in investor redemptions. 

The asset management giant sold The Moor shopping centre in Sheffield to New River real estate investment trust, after putting it on the market with an £89.4m price tag. 

M&G declined to comment.

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