The results of the IPSOS survey commissioned by Frontier Estates Polska, in cooperation with Europaproperty.com, carried out among entrepreneurs, investors and professionals on the real estate market clearly confirm the trend observed for some time in the warehouse space segment. More than half of respondents expect a dynamic increase in demand in the category of urban logistics and see the greatest potential in small warehouse spaces, such as Small Business Units, located in cities.
“59 percent of surveyed entrepreneurs report an increase in sales in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year, only 11 percent declare that the turnover has decreased or significantly decreased. 32 percent indicate a disruption of the supply chain due to the pandemic, and 25 percent of those polled intend to reduce spending due to economic uncertainty. 21 percent of respondents point to the problem of late payments, which they observed in the first quarter of this year,” says Krzysztof Chmielewski, Research Director at the Institute of Opinion Research IPSOS.
At the same time, two-thirds of respondents, mainly from the e-commerce, wholesale and light manufacturing industries, believe that the lack of availability of adequate warehouse space limits the possibility of their business growth.
The survey results show an absolute focus on urban projects related to last-mile logistics. As many as 90 percent of respondents believe that over the next two years, the location of warehouse space close to ending customers will be of key importance when choosing a place to run a business. 79 percent of real estate professionals and entrepreneurs believe that in the next five years, the warehouse infrastructure will come closer to cities.
Nearly 50 percent of respondents consider the possibility of integrating their office with a warehouse or production zone and showroom as important, which may allow the tenant to use the space efficiently, significantly reducing some operating costs. The majority of respondents indicate the availability of broadband Internet, warehouse automation and technical infrastructure as very important in the decision-making process about choosing a warehouse and distribution centre.
“Growth in the city logistics segment will be driven by a very high demand for modern space from small and medium-sized enterprises. On the other hand, the supply of this type of facilities will be increasingly difficult due to the growing restrictions in the availability of investment land and competition from residential and commercial developers who are looking for locations with similar parameters and thus compete for them,” says Daniel Oponowicz, Commercial Director at Frontier Estates Polska.
“According to the respondents (66 percent of responses), the availability of employees close to the planned warehouse and logistics investment is very important. 61 percent of the surveyed entrepreneurs intend to change and adapt their existing warehouse space to new customer requirements, 51 percent intend to improve productivity. 23 percent of respondents plan to expand or change the existing warehouse space, which shows caution in making far-reaching financial decisions in the current economic situation, despite good forecasts for the future,” says Krzysztof Chmielewski.
“We have been investing in city logistics for many years on the British market. Our investments can act as multi-channel points of contact with customers, serving as collection and return points, showrooms, warehouses, small logistics centres and high-class offices. The first SBU investment of Frontier Estates Polska, located in Bielany Wrocławskie, is currently in the commercialization phase. Frontier Park Wrocław will include 12 units on about 9,300 sqm of flexible warehouse and business space with a glazed front elevation, enabling it to serve as an exhibition and office space,” says Daniel Oponowicz.
The survey was conducted in Poland by the IPSOS Opinion Research Institute on 4-14 May 2021, using the CAWI method, on a representative sample of 116 companies from the real estate, e-commerce, light manufacturing, trade and warehouse logistics sectors.