Demetree Real Estate Blog

The Retail Shift to Flexible Warehouse Space

[fa icon="calendar"] 09.25.2019 / by Demetree Real Estate Services


Combining the online and offline model 

Technology is changing the various ways to shop and creating a need for all retailers to work harder to understand their customers. There's increasing merchant deployment of buy-online-pickup-in-store programs, and other offerings that seek to combine the online and offline store experience.

Anyone who wants to operate a physical store must convince consumers it’s worth their time to go there to shop.  The face of a store really exists online,where the physical stores tend to exist for hands on experiences of goods which consumers can then go home to purchase and be delivered. 

Where Brick-and-Mortar Shines

At the same time though, 90% of sales are still made in brick-and-mortar locations - and a few retail categories still seem relatively immune to online shopping competition. Grocery and home improvement merchants appear the least susceptible to e-commerce sales erosion, which may be due to the hands-on aspect of these categories. Consumers like to assess the quality of their food when buying groceries and may need in-person advice with home improvement.

E-commerce is affecting how consumers interact with brick-and-mortar stores and will continue to evolve the way consumers shop. For instance, many music and electronics stores have closed. Then, there's the companies like Toys "R" Us and Sears.  It’s unlikely what forced these stores to close was 100% about price and convenience. Instead, perhaps they failed to keep up with what consumers wanted from their in-store experience.

While we can confidently say in-store shopping is not dying, brick-and-mortar retailers need to be ready to adapt as online powerhouses change the underlying fabric of how people shop and access products.

Flexibility - Making Shopping an Experience

Consumers have disrupted everyday shopping by pursuing “modern retailing,” which involves both online and in-store shopping. The Modern Consumer Research reports 72 percent of US consumers are participating in “webrooming,” researching online and buying in-store; 53 percent are participating in “showrooming,” researching in-store and buying online; and 52 percent are participating in “click and collect,” buying online and collecting in store.

Today, it’s all about maximizing the physical space to make the time commitment worthwhile for shoppers - the space must be flexible enough to create a unique and engaging in-store experience that will keep them coming back time and time again.  

Convenience - Providing Shoppers with More Options

This all sounds simple enough, but what does it look like in practice? If a customer purchases an item online, the consumer can be presented with more fulfillment options, including having it delivered to their home, delivered to a store located nearby, or simply set aside from the store’s inventory for immediate pickup. Consumers like options – and using stores for fulfillment allows them to select the time frame, cost and location that best suits them.

Some retailers have begun to share store-level product availability with online shoppers, telling them which stores have which items in stock. This means consumers who want in-store pickup can search online for the nearest store with their product, enabling them to simply drive to the selected store with the item in stock and pick it up.

A Store?  A Website?  A Warehouse?

Retailers can no longer choose one fulfillment option - they often need to be a store, a website and even a warehouse distribution center.  Some companies are building completely separate store and e-commerce fulfillment networks, strategically placing huge e-commerce facilities to promote quick delivery.  Others are housing store fulfillment and e-commerce operations in the same building.

Whether they're looking for larger facilities, creating shipping stations in their stores, or deploying new software to tightly link their channels, retailers share one common concern: They may feel like a little kingdom that needs to expand and grow while still protecting their borders. 

Retail as we know it is definitely changing, and it’s happening faster than we might have imagined.  It's time to think about maximizing every square foot of space - maybe even thinking about a flexible space that includes both a warehouse and showroom.

Orlando Ace Road Showroom & Warehouse Space for Lease

Blue-Frame-Ace Road

Located just off of US Road 441 in Orlando, this warehouse property has 30,000 square foot of storage space with a built out show room included. It's perfect for a single tenant who needs quick and easy access to both I-4 as well as Downtown Orlando. 

For more information, visit


Topics: Orlando, Downtown Orlando, FL, Orlando - Downtown, Multi Purpose, Commercial Real Estate, Demetree Real Estate, business space for lease, Demetree Properties, Warehouse, Showroom

Demetree Real Estate Services

Written by Demetree Real Estate Services

Demetree Real Estate Services has been specializing in providing property management, leasing, development, consulting and construction management services to property owners throughout Florida. We provide the broadest array of commercial real estate services in the market. Our seasoned team is connected and well informed with specialized expertise in delivering service for office, retail, industrial, multi-family, self storage and mobile home park properties.