JLL say this means as much as 54 million square feet will be required each year for the next five years. Demand is being driven both by the need to service existing stores and increasingly by a retail revolution caused by the growth of internet shopping, which is transforming the way goods are distributed to customers.
With online sales predicted to almost double in the first half of this decade, and online retail expected to exceed 10 percent of all sales in Europe by 2016, JLL says around 33 million square feet of specialized space is going to be needed for dedicated e-fulfillment centers, dealing solely with online demand.
The balance is needed for store replenishment, though retailers are increasingly moving to a fully integrated "omni-channel" customer offer, where customers buy in-store, online or via mobiles and either have their purchases delivered to their home or pick up from stores or dedicated delivery centers.
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