NAIOP Conference Addresses E-Commerce
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PHOENIXóOver the past three years, online retail has grown 18 percent, compared to only 1.3 percent for brick-and-mortar transactions, and retailers and commercial real estate analysts have taken notice. To discuss the changes and the way the retail sector can adapt, NAIOP is hosting E.CON, the first ever national conference on e-commerce for commercial real estate, on†March 27 and 28†at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.
GlobeSt.com recently spoke with Thomas Bisacquino, CEO of NAIOP, to learn more about how e-commerce is affecting change in the commercial real estate market.
GlobeSt.com: What are the major challenges we can expect this year regarding e-commerce and the demand for space?
Thomas Bisacquino:Thereís been a seismic shift in how people purchase goods and where they purchase them. Itís happening at the speed of light. Youíre seeing exponential growth in sales year on year for e-commerce so that puts a tremendous demand on space for e-commerce. Goods have typically gone from a distribution center to a retailer, but now many goods are shipping from a fulfillment center directly to the consumer, bypassing the retail store altogether. Brick and mortar facilities are becoming more like showrooms. These fulfillment facilities are getting bigger and bigger. You used to have half a million square feet and now itís a million-plus. So itís a high demand for that product. You know the old adage, location location location? They have to be located in an area that works. Weíre looking 18 months out and we see a high demand and thatís good news.
GlobeSt.com: How has e-commerce affected industrial thus far in the transition period? Is there a little more history you can offer?
Bisacquino: Like any transition, youíre building the plane as youíre flying it. Thereís been a huge demand for efficiency. When you think about a traditional distribution center, you didnít need a bunch a people operating them because youíre taking the goods by the truckload and shipping them to the stores. Itís now the individual package thatís being dealt with. So now you have a big facility, but there are different needs. You have now a round-the-clock facility and the challenge that weíre facing is going from traditional distribution to needing a huge track of land with a lot of parking to accommodate all the employees. And transportation is still hugeótruck, railóitís still huge. The transition is happening very quickly and itís exciting to see it.
GlobeSt.com: What can attendees expect from NAIOPís E-Commerce Conference coming up in Phoenix?
Bisacquino: Weíll be covering the whole waterfront in terms of e-commerce. We have a panel on end users perspective on site selection; technology; what to and what not to do; and a behind-the-scenes tour of Macy's Direct-to-Consumer Distribution Center. If youíre an investor, a broker, thereís going to be the whole gamut of e-commerce information you can use.
Registration for the conference is available online at www.naiop.org/econ14 through Wednesday, March 26, or onsite at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix beginning on Thursday.
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