Although industrial remains the star property type, the composition of leasing activity appears to be shifting. Through October 2021, total leasing volume from pure e-commerce retailers fell by nearly one-quarter compared to the same period in 2020.
The cause of this change is multifaceted. It’s likely that many small retailers are outsourcing logistics functions to third-party logistics (3PL) companies, which leased more space in 2021, because capacity (space and manpower) is limited. Also, some large e-commerce outfits could be relying on build-to-suits rather than leasing space.
A very important factor could be that digital sales growth is simply slowing from its epic pace during 2020 and less space is required to service this rapidly evolving sector. Indeed, this could be providing some lift for general retailers.
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