The COVID-19 pandemic has modified the way in which People store. And Jacob Horsely of Cushman & Wakefield believes now that buyers are comfy ordering on websites from Amazon to Zappos, they received’t return to brick-and-mortar buying.
Horsely, the senior director of business brokerage companies in Cushman & Wakefield’s Jacksonville, Florida, workplace, stated e-commerce grew from roughly 13% to 14% of U.S. retail gross sales to 18% to 19% in simply the previous six months.
“That’s simply an enormous spike,” Horsely stated. “New habits are being created.”
Horsely was a part of a webinar, “E-commerce Site Selection in Today’s Changing Market,” on Monday hosted by the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT).
He stated Jacksonville has lots to supply e-commerce companies, together with a 102 million-square-foot industrial market; common hire of $5.31 per sq. foot; and a prepared workforce from the 1.5 million individuals who dwell within the five-county area. That’s to not point out the flexibility to shortly get merchandise imported by means of JAXPORT to close by distribution facilities after which into the fingers of shoppers.
“You’re going to have the ability to attain 54 million shoppers inside an eight-hour drive,” Horsely stated.
He stated there’s a slew of success tales, together with that of on-line furnishings retailer Article.com, which in the end chosen a 318,000-square-foot facility on Jacksonville’s north facet in 2018 — after it had been pointed elsewhere within the Southeast.
Horsely defined that Canada-headquartered Article employed a provide chain agency to assist resolve the place to find its fourth U.S. facility. The consulting agency got here up with three cities: Atlanta, Savannah, Georgia, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“They ignored Jacksonville initially. As Article began doing their homework and speaking to the ports, they shortly fell in love with Jacksonville; they actually hit it off nicely with JAXPORT,” he stated, stating that Article should rely upon a seaport as the vast majority of its merchandise are imported from Vietnam and Thailand. “As soon as they began trying round on the different three markets their provide chain agency gave them, they have been shortly in a position to determine that these markets didn’t work nicely.”
Lisa Wheldon, JAXPORT’s director of commerce growth and rail, stated since finding in Jacksonville, Article has been in a position to cut back its supply time within the Southeast by three days.
“This final-mile supply is essential as shoppers anticipate next-day and even same-day supply — and naturally we wish all of it without cost,” stated Wheldon, the moderator of Monday’s webinar.
Aundra Wallace, president of the JAXUSA Partnership, stated U.S. shoppers spent $347.3 billion on-line within the first six months of this 12 months, up greater than 30% from the identical interval final 12 months.
“That bodes nicely for the Jacksonville area and JAXPORT as we’ve seen super development on this enterprise” with firms akin to Amazon, Fanatics, Ulta and Wayfair, Wallace stated.
He stated JAXUSA has helped 13 e-commerce firms open amenities in Jacksonville over the previous 5 years.
“The businesses have invested greater than $3.3 billion in infrastructure and generated almost 18,000 preliminary jobs on the instances of the bulletins. In lots of instances, they’ve expanded for the reason that preliminary announcement, creating extra jobs for our native workforce,” Wallace stated.
“JAXPORT has been an amazing companion for JAXUSA as we work to drive extra e-commerce enterprise to our area,” he added.
JAXUSA presently is working with 43 firms that might find in Jacksonville. “Twenty-one of these prospects are superior manufacturing tasks, and about one other 12 to 13 of these are superior transportation/logistics tasks,” Wallace stated. “They wish to be near JAXPORT.”
Along with JAXPORT, the area’s rising inhabitants is a draw for firms trying to open a facility within the Southeast.
“The Jacksonville area made the most important beneficial properties in inhabitants of every other metropolis within the nation from April to August. The variety of folks coming to Jacksonville versus leaving was 10.7% larger throughout that point this 12 months over final 12 months as individuals are leaving high-cost, high-density cities and areas,” Wallace stated.
He added that much more items will circulate by means of JAXPORT when it completes its dredging project to deepen the transport lanes to 47 ft to accommodate bigger container ships in 2022.