In-mall micro warehousing a trend

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    Property consultant Colliers said malls in Metro Manila have started to market their spaces as micro warehousing sites as they adapt to the challenging times brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Calvin Javinar, Colliers senior director for capital markets and investment services, said mall operators are repurposing spaces vacated by tenants as people’s retail consumption has shifted towards electronic commerce.

    “It’s an opportunity for malls who lost tenants to repurpose their spaces and attract logistics companies, consumer companies for fulfillment centers and last mile logistics and in-city delivery of goods,” said Javinar.

    Javinar said micro-warehousing is doing well though revenues from this business cannot make up for the lost earnings from traditional retailers.

    Javinar said in-mall micro-warehouses currently measure 500 to 1,000 square meters per mall and have proven very effective for companies looking to improve distribution within Metro Manila.

    “We can also say the retail operators are doing a good job at marketing the repurposed spaces since they are also marketing it to their own tenants,” Javinar said.

    Colliers said warehousing is a promising sector in the property market as manufacturing and logistics investments grow.

    Joey Bondoc, Colliers head of research, said there will be a more active takeup for warehouse spaces this year driven by firms in the essential goods industry such as food, beverage and pharmaceuticals and supported by the growth of e-commerce and the emergence of a lockdown economy.

    Bondoc said warehouse leasing rate growth is expected to outpace  land leasehold rates.

    This year, Colliers sees warehouse spaces adding another 120 hectares into the market on top of the 22 hectares developed in 2020. Of the 2 supply that came online last year, 90 percent were developed in the Cavite area, while the rest are in Laguna.