E-commerce continues to influence Canada's commercial assets

Pre-delivery storage facilities are now more important than ever

E-commerce continues to influence Canada's commercial assets

An emerging expectation for same-day delivery among consumers is driving demand for large spaces situated near major habitation and transportation hubs.

According to the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate study published by PwC Canada and the Urban Land Institute, this trend will magnify the already strong demand for commercial spaces in the country’s hottest metropolitan markets.

Fortunately, “the rise of e-commerce doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the brick-and-mortar presence, and in fact retail remains an important solution to last-mile delivery,” PwC Canada national real estate leader Frank Magliocco stated.

What this means, however, is that spaces dedicated solely to pre-delivery storage are becoming even more important. Cold storage for food items is an especially valuable commodity, taking into account the increasing influence of online shopping.

For instance, earlier this year, Shopify Inc. confirmed that it will be doubling its workforce in the Greater Toronto Area to 1,500.

The announcement came amid the development of the company’s 3.2-hectare mixed-use centre in the downtown core, which is slated to begin operations by 2022.

Said facility is an important step in the e-commerce firm’s publicly stated goal to compete with Amazon.com. The end step will be a network of fulfilment warehouses, projected to provide two-day shipping for approximately 99% of Shopify’s North American coverage.

“This is another example of how Shopify is democratizing commerce by taking the warehouse systems, machine learning and other technologies that used to be reserved for only the largest companies in the world, and making them accessible and affordable to all merchants including those that are just starting to take off,” chief product officer Craig Miller said at the time, as quoted by the Financial Post.