Warehouse co-dependence

Warehouse & industrial
POLAND According to the ‘E-commerce Logistics in Poland’ report, which has just been published by JLL and Prologis, e-commerce is to generate 700,000 sqm in terms of demand for warehouse space over the next five years. However, the authors of the report claim that internet sales will not have a negative impact on shopping centres. The two markets are to develop in parallel rather than in competition with each other.

Stable growth

By 2020 the internet retail market is to keep growing at the same rate, i.e. app. 15 pct per year. “In 2020 e-commerce will reach 10 pct of the entire retail sales in the country,” says Jan Zombirt, the director of the market research and consultancy at JLL. “The growth of the e-commerce market in Poland will, however, be based on the growth of the number of internet users. At the moment 65 pct of Poles use the internet every day,” he adds. Logistics operators do not believe that the amount of warehouse space could be a problem in terms of the development of online sales over the next five years. “The market is adjusting and it is possible to build more space quickly if need be,” states the report. A warehouse area of 280,000 sqm is currently under construction. “50 modules of a minimum of 5,000 sqm will be ready for lease within six months,” emphasises Paweł Sapek, a board member and head of Prologis in Poland, but he adds that the warehouse market will develop at a faster pace than e-commerce itself. Consumers expect products ordered online to be delivered cheaply and fast. “The two conditions impact every aspect of internet sales, including real estate,” confirms Mr Sapek. In line with the trend, the locations of new warehouses will be subject to the locations of their clients’ head offices. “For example, in Germany they mostly build warehouses in ‘B’ class towns. So far in Poland the areas for e-commerce are developed in cities such as Poznań or Warsaw,” explains Mr Sapek. As far as chains implementing the ominchannel model are concerned, about 5 pct of the area occupied by such a chain is to be earmarked for internet sales services. The rest is used for the logistics servicing of traditional shops.

The devils not soblack

According to the authors of the report, traditional shops will not lose out from the development of internet sales. The study shows that e-commerce will grow parallel to retail and the latter will still increase by 5 pct per year. Tenants will not be moving out of retail space. “Shopping centres have to face the challenge of how to attract tenants all the time, but retail chains themselves will cope well with the development of online sales because it does not make any difference to them how they sell their products: in a shopping centre or online,” says Anna Bartoszewicz-Wnuk, the director of research and consultancy at JLL. Jan Zombirt adds that in some countries a delivery is possible within one hour. “The market in Poland will be developing in this direction,” he adds. However, this process is in its infancy. “Next-day delivery depends on the properties and their locations,” says the director of the market research and consultancy department at JLL. “Such a standard is possible, but more so in larger cities. The Polish consumer is not expecting this just yet,” says the head of Prologis in Poland.

Fashion rules

According to JLL and Prologis, the warehouse market will not undergo any significant changes due to the impact of internet sales for at least the next five years. “It will continue to be dominated by standard warehouses, which will, however, be used more effectively, e.g. thanks to the use of mezzanine solutions, etc,” adds Mr Sapek. In the demand for warehouses in Poland e-commerce accounts for 5.8 pct while the percentage of clients’ from the retail sales sector comes to 3.9 pct. Compared to Western Europe, the share of internet sales in the warehouse market is much lower, but it will certainly grow. Over the next five years most of the demand for warehouse space leased by clients involved in internet sales will be generated by the fashion sector and, secondly, household appliances, which will be followed by products from the health and beauty segment and for electronic equipment. Groceries will need the least new space, in relative terms, because large retail chains operate their logistics individually and this does impact the market considerably. Goods sent to people’s homes ordered via the internet are stored in the same warehouses as those that supply their physical shops.