The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the merger of retail and warehouse real estate, leading to the emergence of a new hybrid store model of interest to both investors and tenants, according to a study by CBRE.
According to its data, disruptions in commodity supply in 2020 brought the concept of omnichannel to a new level – hybrid store models have emerged that allow shoppers to make purchases both offline in a physical store and online. Thus, retailers need multiple logistics channels to meet demand.
At the same time, transportation costs for direct shipments to consumers are high costs for the retailer, which stimulates the use of physical stores, including as distribution centers and pick-up points, the study notes. According to CBRE Supply Chain Advisory, typical online ordering costs exceed in-store costs by 10-15%.
“In order to meet today’s consumer demands, supply chains have evolved into a network of speed-optimizing facilities that increase capacity and minimize overall costs. Retail chains now have more distribution centers linked to smaller warehouses and distribution points to ensure the best inventory management, delivery and return of customer goods,” the report says.
According to CBRE experts, despite the growth of e-commerce, physical stores remain a sought-after asset, although they require a different development strategy, including the closure of inefficient locations, resizing stores, optimizing rental costs, and reducing delivery costs through the introduction of self-pickup services.
“This approach will allow us to preserve the traditional retail experience, while ensuring the growth of their e-commerce platforms in a single coherent ecosystem,” the study reads.