Creative Commons License (Flickr user Alex Liivet)

With skyrocketing online retail sales, what is happening to real estate?

Creative Commons License (Flickr user Alex Liivet). Online retail sales in B2C are estimated to grow by nearly 75% by 2018, and today’s B2B sales are more than twice the sales of B2C—and growing faster.

Increasingly, consumer product companies are selling goods online. Specifically, consumer packaged food companies are moving to online retail sales as traditional grocery stores and the Walmarts and Targets of the world transition into private labels. But can these changes affect the real estate industry? Absolutely.

My new article, “From Malls to Click-and-Collect: How Today’s Pace of Change Is Impacting Real Estate,” explores this rapid growth in online ordering and fulfillment and how it is affecting the real estate industry.

Retail stores and malls are experiencing some of the biggest impacts of online sales growth. We see this almost daily with store closing announcements—the biggest being Radio Shack with 1,100 planned store closings for this year. There are also significant effects on distribution and fulfillment as supply chain networks grow substantially more complex due to the sales channel switch from direct to online.

How have you seen the real estate industry impacted by growing online sales? How will your company respond to this pace of change?