Online shopping boom drives warehouse sector and focus on efficiency to maximise opportunity

A new report has demonstrated the positive influence the growth in online shopping is having on the retail sector. However, with online shopping figures set to grow even further, Midland Pallet Tucks is urging businesses to consider how they’ll maximise space and resources now.

According to a Savills report1, the retail warehouse sector in the UK has delivered an average return of 11.5% annually since 1980, reflecting wider shopping behavioural changes. As the retail industry moves away from traditional bricks and mortar stores to an omnichannel approach where the internet rules, the demand for retail warehouse space is expected to continue climbing.

Last year, more than eight in ten UK consumers made at least one purchase online, thanks to the convenience, choice, and price benefits, while figures show that in 2016 Brits spent £154 billion online, up by a quarter in just two years.

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Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks, said: “Internet shopping isn’t going away, and it’ll continue to improve the opportunities of businesses operating in the retail warehouse sector and influence where e-retail firms are investing in terms of property. Whether a warehouse is directly part of a retail company or is acting as a fulfilment partner, efficiency is set to become critical.

“Online consumer expectations are changing and, from a business side, they’re more demanding. To deliver retail customer experiences that support brand loyalty and deliver a return on investment, retail warehouses need to act fast to ship products as quickly as possible while still maintaining standards. For some businesses, this will be assessing their current efficiency from taking item deliveries to shipping boxes to consumers to assess where changes need to be made.”

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Midland Pallet Trucks is recommending those responsible for warehouse equipment explore the options for easily getting retail items from A to B, such as hand pallet trucks or manual stacker trucks. The company also suggests looking at the systems in place for employees, ensuring that they support the expectation of consumers and are efficiently use the time they spend on the job.

Chesworth added, “Investing in the right equipment and processes now, sets retail warehouses up for success in the future. It means they’ll be well equipped to deal with rising sales and take advantage of the opportunities coming their way. It may mean an investment now, but it’s one that can pay off hugely when the future growth of online sales is considered.”

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