Super sheds surge as UK e-shopping booms - Altus report
Big used to be big enough when it came to warehousing. No longer. Surging demand for online shopping and the need for a faster more efficient supply chain has given birth to “super sheds” in the UK.
While nearly 15 million square feet of warehouse space was built in 2020, this included 49 of those super sheds, bigger than 85,000 square feet in size, according to research by Altus Group.It said this reflected 14.72 million square feet of “state of the art” sites – the equivalent of 191 Premier League football pitches.
The Midlands region in England has become the focus of much of the warehouse building activity, given its geographical location within the UK.
Dubbed ‘The Golden Triangle, the region saw an increase of 6.07 million sq ft of new super shed floor space during 2020. Altus said 15 super sheds were built in the East Midlands, 10 in the East of England and seven in the West Midlands.
Six more warehouses were also built in the North West, five in Yorkshire and Humberside, four in the South East and two in the South West.
With the growing focus on servicing a rapidly expanding e-commerce infrastructure, retail giants including Amazon, Boohoo, Asos, Next, Marks & Spencer, and JD Sports are spending big to ensure their logistics networks are fit to meet the needs of an ever-demanding consumer.
Sports Direct’s warehouse in Shirebrook remains the largest super shed, at 2.58 million square feet while JD Sports and Marks & Spencer are adding capacity this autumn ahead of the winter selling season.
Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: “Online-only retailers now account for 17% of the occupier base of the 100 biggest super sheds. Surging demand has led to major investment opportunities, particularly for overseas investors, as the race for space continues to intensify which will undoubtedly impact tax liabilities at the next revaluation in 2023”.
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