Owners, occupiers and investors need to respond to unprecedented trends in technology, demographics and infrastructure that are transforming global supply chains across the retail, industrial and logistics real estate sectors.
The retail sector today is undergoing seismic change as it becomes more global, urban and specialized due to the rapid rise of online shopping, mobile technology and changes in consumer spending patterns. Our expectation is that global trade should return by 2014 to the long-term trade growth trend of roughly 9.5% per year as the global recovery gains momentum.
The effects of customer demand on real estate include changing location strategies and increasing investments in reducing operating expenses. Winning strategies will demand flexibility and diversity, collaboration, automation, technology – and a keen balance of scale and scope, most likely through consolidation and vertical integration.
The U.S. is facing a potential shortage of class A Industrial space, spurring more redevelopment and retrofitting of existing facilities. In Europe, activity has been mixed, giving rise to the re-emergence of build-to-suit developments.
Brazil and China have become dominant players on the global scene due to strong economic growth coupled with rising incomes. However, China and the growing integration of intra-Asia trade channels supported by a budding middle class point towards more demand for industrial space across most regional hubs such as in Vietnam and the Philippines.