2017 saw online retailers buy nearly 10 times more property than decade earlier, with Amazon buying enough to cover 63 football pitches throughout the year.
According to new research from property firm Savills, online retailers purchased 12.2 million sq ft of warehouse space in 2017 rising from just 1.47 million sq ft in 2008.
This has largely been driven by Amazon which continues to ramp up its property shopping spree, acquiring an estimated four million sq ft of land throughout the year bringing its total to nearly 20 million sq ft.
The boom is expected to continue at a rate thought to exceed the exponential growth in the grocery market 10 years ago, and underutilised retail space like poorly performing retail parks could soon been replaced by warehouses.
“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.” Savills head of industrial research Kevin Mofid said.
Increasing demand for warehouse space is also expected to see prime locations change. According to Savills areas like Yorkshire and the North East could soon replace the Midlands and South East as they have more available space and higher levels of unemployment.
More high tech facilities, which are becoming increasingly favoured by big online players like Amazon and Ocado, will require locations that can maintain high energy demands.
Savills’ national head of industrial and logistics Richard Sullivan added: “We can only expect further growth by retailers looking to take advantage of changing consumer habits.
“In order to cater to this, industrial landlords and developers will need to look past traditional hotspots and embrace new key locations that offer deliverability and can provide the power, labour and infrastructure that occupiers need to be able to build a successful supply chain.”