The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the supply chain and forcing many consumers to change the way they shop. But while these disruptions are creating economic strain, they also present huge opportunities for industrial real estate.
It’s easy to see why. Social distancing has changed the nature of how people buy goods because, in the absence of conventional retail, consumers are making the most of their purchases online.
Industrial developer Jose Hernandez-Solaun of The Easton Group has seen Amazon spur the rise of e-commerce over the last few years. But now, he sees the coronavirus pandemic rapidly ramping up that growth — putting it on steroids.
“What we are finding now is the coronavirus effect,” said Hernandez-Solaun. “If the Amazon effect was strength training, this was what you get on performance-enhancing drugs.”
Hernandez-Solaun and other South Florida industrial brokers and developers say the sector could benefit in the long-term from many of the behavioral changes spurred by the crisis. Consumers, increasingly from older generations, will shift more of their spending to e-commerce. More manufacturers will come to the Americas from China. And after experiencing inventory shortages, more warehouses will be needed, experts say.