Online shift in focus as London retail park converts to warehousing
The shift in consumer focus from physical stores to online shopping was underlined this week on news of a £51.4 million deal to transform a retail park in North London into a logistics hub with warehousing designed to service online businesses.
While retail parks have been the most buoyant UK retail destination types, the survival of many is still in doubt and now the Ravenside site in Edmonton is to be converted after its acquisition by Prologis.
It’s worth more to the owner as a distribution hub for all those e-tailers that need vast warehouses to service their webstores. Pureplays like Amazon, Argos, Boohoo and Asos are snapping up warehouse space but so are physical retailers as they expand their online operations.
The 128,000 sq ft site had been owned by commercial property fund M&G and one of its tenants had been Mothercare, which is currently in the process of exiting its UK stores with a closing down sale that includes it selling its fixtures and fittings. There’s also an Argos store there, but with owner Sainsbury’s gradually closing many Argos standalone and opening spaces for the chain inside its supermarkets, it’s unclear how long that would have lasted.
Ravenside is believed to be the first retail park to be replaced by an online logistics site in the UK. But it’s not likely to be the last.
Its new owner, US-based Prologis, is a multinational operator with sites in 20+ countries.
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