In 2010, e-commerce retail sales in the United States made up only 4.2% of all retail sales. However, by the last quarter of 2017, e-commerce sales made up 9.1% of all retail sales. In other words, at the end of 2017, these e-commerce sales totaled over $115 billion. E-commerce’s success does not appear to be a temporary phenomenon. It is projected that e-commerce’s retail growth will continue to expand going forward.
Amazon has been a major player in the success of e-commerce. In 2010, Amazon’s revenue was found to be in an excess of $34 billion, and by 2017 the e-commerce giant’s revenue grew to $178 billion. Currently, Amazon owns 43% of all e-commerce purchases undoubitably dominating the space. Amazon alone accounts for nearly half of all e-commerce sales. However, other e-commerce retailers are also contributing to online sales. The success of e-commerce is directly tied to the growth of the industrial market.
According to CBRE, E-commerce accounts for almost 9% of total retail sales in the U.S. today and has been growing nearly three times faster than brick-and-mortar sales since 2010. The impact of this growth on the supply chain is profound. A hallmark of e-commerce is superior service—a nearly infinite number of choices, fast delivery and flexible return options. This pressure on the supply chain has driven demand for industrial real estate to nearly unprecedented levels and has fundamentally changed the look of the modern warehouse.
How much demand is coming from e-commerce users?
Figure 1: 1.25 Million Sq. Ft. of Industrial Demand from each $1.0 Billion in E-commerce Sales
Source: Forrester Research, CBRE Research, 2018.
It is commonly thought that an e-commerce supply chain requires up to three times more warehouse and logistics space than a traditional brick-and-mortar supply chain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is true, but a recent CBRE Research study found that for each incremental $1 billion growth in e-commerce sales, an additional 1.25 million sq. ft. of distribution space is needed to support this growth. Per CBRE, this suggests that of the 236 million sq. ft. that was absorbed in 2017, approximately 30% of it was attributable to e-commerce.
How is e-commerce affecting building design?
Figure 2: U.S. Average New Warehouse Building Size
Source: CBRE Research, CBRE Econometric Advisors, 2017.
CBRE research showed that demand for efficient logistics space that facilitates quick movement of goods to consumers has necessitated design of new warehouses that are larger in size and height. The average new warehouse in the U.S. increased by 108,665 sq. ft. (143%) in size and 3.7 feet in height when comparing high development activity periods in 2012-2017 and 2002-2007. Distribution markets that serve major population centers and have land for new warehouses saw building sizes increase the most, including Atlanta, the Inland Empire and Cincinnati. Rapidly growing e-commerce sales are the primary driver of this trend, and markets lacking sufficient modern logistics facilities have further expansion potential ahead to keep pace with this rising demand.
Megacenter US, recently announced the completion of phase one of Megacenter Willowbrook, asset among HEP equity investments with 235,627-square-foot mixed-use project comprised of industrial flex, self storage, retail and office space in northwest Houston, Texas.
The project, which broke ground earlier this year, has completed its first phase consisting of 37,000 square feet of flex warehouse; 20,000 square feet of self storage; and 15,000 square feet of office suites and co-working space. Additionally, the property will have a 114,000-square-foot gym and 34,000 square feet of entertainment destinations.
Currently 75 percent of the building is leased to a variety of tenants, including one of the largest e-commerce retailers worldwide (Amazon),national entertainment tenant 13th Floor Entertainment Group (operator of haunted houses and escape rooms); Focus Physique Fit (fitness center); PGE (printing and retailer); Unimech Flow Inc (valves distributor); and multiple small warehouse and office tenants. Phase two has been leased for the redevelopment of a 114,000-square-foot fitness center with an expected completion date by summer of 2019. The space will contain a restaurant, soccer and basketball courts, baseball batter box and a full fitness center.
“We are very pleased with the market response to our mixed-use development concept”, Project Management commented. “Small flex warehouse spaces (under 4,000 square feet), combined with executive office suites and self storage, provide flexible solutions to small businesses, which are the bulk of our customer base. We believe the ecommerce shift in the retail economy has been an important factor to the acceptance of our product mix, with Amazon being among the main tenants at this location. Megacenter Willowbrook product mix allows small- and mid-size businesses to grow in our business parks without having to relocate. The addition of multiple entertainment tenants (fitness center, escape rooms and haunted house) bring an enjoyable place to work that not only impacts our project but also the community around Megacenter Willowbrook.”
Situated on 24 acres at 7075 FM 1960 about 23 miles northwest of downtown Houston, the property is across the street from Willowbrook Mall, a 1.45 million-square-foot regional mall with more than 19 million annual shoppers, an in an affluent area of Houston with 103,630 residents earning an average household income of $89,102 within a three-mile radius.
H O U S T O N E Q U I T Y P A R T N E R S
HEP allows Accredited Investors the opportunity to invest in Industrial, Commercial, Self-storage and Mixed Use income producing assets, strategically located throughout the Greater Houston Area.
M E N U
C O N T A C T U S
2313 West Sam Houston Parkway N
Houston, TX 77043
Investor Relations: 281-817-6342