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Online boom delivers 15 million sq ft of new super sheds

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Surging demand for ‘state of the art’ warehousing, through the seemingly unstoppable rise of online and value retail, saw a mammoth 14.72 million square feet of brand-new large distribution warehouse space last year.

The space is around the same amount of physical retail space lost this year as a result of the acquisition of the Debenhams and Arcadia brands by e-tail giants Boohoo and ASOS.

The annual business rates review, published today by the real estate adviser Altus Group, shows that 49 brand-new large distribution warehouses, dubbed super sheds which are bigger than 85,000 square foot, were built and added to the Local Rating Lists, for the purpose of the business rates tax, during the 2020 calendar year in England and Wales.

     

Region

Count of New Super Sheds In 2020

Total Area (ft2)

East

10

2,767,983

East Midlands

15

6,069,102

North West

6

1,596,116

South East

4

1,878,464

South West

2

177,637

West Midlands

7

895,504

Yorkshire/Humberside

5

1,332,766

Grand Total

49

14,717,570

Source: real estate adviser, Altus Group

Spanning from Northamptonshire up the M1 to East Midlands Airport, and west as far as Tamworth area, the ‘Golden Triangle’ in the East Midlands saw an increase of 6.07 million square feet of new super shed floor space during 2020, double that of the next region, the East of England, at 2.77 million square feet.

More than a third of all new space in the East Midlands that came onto the Local Rating Lists, 2.15 million of square feet in total, was in Corby with the East Midlands and East of England regions accounting for 60% of all new capacity that was added.

Super sheds occupied a total area of 416.28 million square feet at the end of last year in England and Wales, about the size of 5,416 football pitches, with the Sports Direct warehouse at Shirebrook still the largest of them all at 2.58 million square feet.

Robert Hayton, UK President at Altus Group said, “online only retailers now account for 17% of the occupier base of the 100 biggest super sheds” adding “surging demand has led to major investment opportunities, particularly for overseas investors, as the race for space continues to intensify which will undoubtedly impact tax liabilities at the next revaluation in 2023.”

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