When the pandemic first impacted the world, there were many concerns as to if the retail industry would take one of the largest hits. This concern was entirely valid for a lot of mom and pop stores that would have to shut down operations because of stay at home orders. Only the big retail corporations like Amazon and Walmart were confident they would be okay through the pandemic.
Amazon already knew the secret that would get many companies through the pandemic: big-box warehouses. These 300,000 square feet buildings with 28-foot ceilings or higher are commonly used to store products, specifically products sold through e-commerce sites which drive 50% of today’s industrial transactions in a post-COVID world.
Big-box warehouses first saw an increase in construction between 2011 and 2015 where the industry reached 61 million square feet and kept rising from there. At the end of 2020, after a year of COVID shut downs and capacity restrictions, big-box warehouses reached 96.5 million square feet of new supply with 170.7 million square feet of construction underway.
Keep in mind, these millions of square footage are not out in the Great Plains. Many companies will have multiple warehouses in different states and cities to ensure quicker shipping to their consumers. Some companies have even tapped into using slightly smaller warehouses in more urban areas to keep up with the Amazon giants of the shipping industry.
One can only imagine the possibilities of the big-box warehouse industry, but the construction industry is here to help it prosper.