17/4/20 – Industrial Market Comment

So, what will the industrial market look like once the lockdown restrictions are lifted?

Clearly, we are all living through unusual times, and demand for almost everything has fallen through the floor except for food. Landlords are offering space free of charge to the NHS short term for use for storage of essential medical equipment.

But we WILL come out of this, even if it is not for another two months or so. And what can we expect then?

Internet sales are going through the roof as the lockdown restrictions have been going on for so long. More and more of us are getting used to shopping online who would never have considered this before, not just for food but also for other household goods. Many of those who have been sceptical up to now, including the elderly, are using the internet for shopping, and becoming tech savvy. Online retail stores may take a larger share from the High Street, although there are shops and experiences that can not of course be provided by the internet, such as a good haircut, certain beauty treatments or a good coffee!

For a while lockdown will probably be lifted with conditions, and the elderly and vulnerable may continue to be wary of going out shopping, continuing with the internet. Fresh fruit and veg box deliveries have begun to catch on more and more quickly during the lockdown and has probably added several thousand new shoppers to these companies much more quickly than they could have dreamt of over the last few years.

This will lead to more demand for warehousing, not only for large warehouses from the likes of Amazon, but also from smaller businesses who would have had a shop perhaps with a large store room at the back that they could supply some stock from, but who might now consider only an online presence.

However, even before the lockdown, there was a lack of supply of warehouse units due to the high demand and the lack of suitable new sites to build as more and more land has been turned over to residential development. The lack of supply is not going to change any day soon, which may in turn lead to further pressure on the available units and on rental levels. Whilst things may not return to normal for some time, we believe that the market is looking strong for the warehousing and logistics sector.

If you are interested in further advice regarding your property or your property needs  Aitchison Raffety are still open for business so please feel free to contact us.

Ian Archer- Director of Commercial property at Aitchison Raffety on 01442 220800 or ian.archer@argroup.co.uk