Wake up and want Raisin Bran? Order it before you crawl out of bed and it will be there before you finish your first cup of joe, thanks to Seattle’s growing number of fulfillment centers. With the push to get orders to customers faster than ever, there is no shortage of demand for industrial buildings, but finding land and labor here in the Pacific Northwest is another story.
O’Keefe Development’s Tom T. O’Keefe gives credit where he says it is due: Companies like Amazon and Alibaba have changed the game and made the industrial warehouse market hot.
The consumer expectation is to order a product and have it delivered within hours, not days. To do that, companies need warehouses close to consumers that are filled with items most likely to be ordered that day.
“And it’s not just the millennials,” he said. “My 94-year-old mother-in-law asks me why something is taking so long.”
O’Keefe shared these thoughts at Bisnow’s recent Pacific Northwest Industrial event held at the new Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square.
The closer the products are to the population, the faster they can get to the consumer. Well-stocked smaller warehouse spaces are becoming more desirable since companies are getting good at stocking high-demand products.
“The data is getting so good that companies can anticipate what we will buy before we buy it,” Bridge Development Partners’ Justin Carlucci said. That creates a demand for smaller distribution centers that are closer to the consumer.