When we talk about retail warehousing, the concept has been adapted from continuous declines we’ve seen in available warehouse space here in the United States. This is nothing new and its getting worse. According to the Wall Street Journal, retailers across the country are experiencing a shortage of available warehouse capacity. The 2020 pandemic didn’t make things better and as we’re approaching the half way point in 2021, there’s a lot of retail space available.
When you have less warehouse capacity, it can cause a lot of problems and challenges for retailers, such as struggling to meet ecommerce demand due for order fulfillment
Most retailers already know this by heart, but your order fulfillment process is the core foundation of your retail business. The good news, things are finally changing.
Developers across the country are now focusing on retail-to-warehouse conversions while supply chain leaders are trying to understand what a retail warehouse is and how it can impact profitability and productivity.
Major Problem: Less Warehouse Space
There’s a lot we can point out here, but here’s the core issue with retail-to-warehouse conversions; it’s the continuous decline of warehouse space with record breaking growth in retail and ecommerce sales. We’ve seen the power of online ecommerce, tens of thousands of malls, stores, outlets and retail space has been closed. These big retail outlets use to thrive on foot traffic, but with the internet, we’ve seen continued declines in those areas. While the decline has been slow, the 2020 pandemic put the decline in warp drive. Due to all of these, retailers have been forced to make moves to find steady ground for growth.
There’s a lot of benefits having retail warehousing in your supply chain.
Those retail structures and outlets won’t go to waste, many of them are being repurposed for industrial uses and commercial uses. With both commercial and industrial space available, there’s a lot of opportunities out there for companies to claim the space. Is it the right move for your company?
Retail Warehouses For Ecommerce Demand
Retail warehouses do have some perks for companies that are planning to use them for growing ecommerce demand. Retail spaces naturally possess the power of being available, this is why conversion projects are currently underway in markets that have high vacancy rates.
Is it worth targeting retail space?
One of the biggest opportunities is old retail centers, many of these are located on busy intersections or highway interchanges. Nearly all retail centers are strategically placed for traffic, some times it can pay off, some times it doesn’t. Easy access is another reason why retail centers are targeted. The big-box stores need backend docks for easy access to trucks. They also have what most retailers need, which are high ceilings and plenty of space. At the moment, there’s more retail space available versus industrial, that’s another factor you have to consider as well.
Benefits Of A Retail Warehouse For Ecommerce Fulfillment
Now, a retail warehouse is an opportunity for companies to build their ecommerce and expand their supply chain.
There’s a number of benefits a company can achieve with retail warehousing, those include:
- Established retail facilities do give you a foundation to build upon and expand
- Chance to revive struggling urban areas, such as those where big retailers have left
- More competitive advantages for omnichannel needs in your specific industry
- Opportunity to invest in local and regional distribution centers
- Freestanding facilities offer dock doors, clear heights compatible with industrial use and lots of parking
- Leveraging established retail warehouses and retail centers
Problems With Converting Retail Space
- May not be the best the location
- May need a lot of improvements before it becomes efficient
- May have a lot of things you don’t need, hence escalators, individual spaces, equipment, etc
- May not be exactly what you need
- Big initial investment
- May have higher costs than initially thought
- It is a risk – a high risk at that
Retail Warehousing Technology And Automation
There’s no question about it, retail warehouses are being used to expand warehouse space. As more and more companies look for warehousing space, they will take advantage of all of the retail space that has been left behind.
Now, being able to take advantage of retail warehouses are going to require expansions, from management platforms to integrations of existing platforms. If you’re planning on leveraging retail warehousing, it appears the time to act is now.
Customers expect to receive their orders fast, this is why you must have faster and reliable delivery.
Leveraging technology can help enable operators to get retail warehouse spaces up and running in less time.
But, is it the right move and right time for your company? Do you have the bandwidth and capital to transform, build, and operate your own retail warehouse?
If the answer is “no,” what other option do you have?
Outsourcing Your Retail Warehousing
The other opportunity you have, outsource your retail warehousing to a fulfillment company like Thill Inc.
Thill Inc. has retail warehouse space all across the country, all of our warehouses are strategically placed to ensure products are delivered fast and efficient.
Ecommerce fulfillment is essential now and if you’re selling products online, you want an experienced partner you can trust and rely on if you plan to outsource fulfillment. Here at Thill Inc., we’ve been helping companies with order fulfillment for more than 50 years.
Unlike all the expenses and costs you’ll need to buy retail space for a retail warehouse, our 3PL company already has the retail warehouse space you need.
It won’t take countless money and time to get your retail fulfillment going, we can help you transition to our space in a short period of time.
If you want to learn more, be sure to give us a call at 920-967-9201.
You can also use our online form here.