December 5, 2021

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Not attractive, but retail logistics is the wonder of the most valuable warehouses

Want seasonal cheers in your portfolio?Next, consider the opportunity in a retail logistics hut that was born to foster an online appetite.


Black Friday is just around the corner and Christmas is just 34 shopping days.

If you want to bring seasonal cheers to your portfolio, you can consider the opportunity to cultivate an online appetite in the vast retail logistics steel huts that have emerged near towns and cities along the highway.

For every £ 1 billion spent online, additional 1.36 million square feet of space will be required, spurring a surge in retailers renting “shed” warehouses owned by Logistics REITs.

Vast: To feed our online appetite, vast retail logistics steel sheds lined up on the highway have emerged near towns and cities.

Vast: To feed our online appetite, vast retail logistics steel sheds along the highway have emerged near towns and cities.

Among the top players in the hut space are Segro, Tritax Big Box, London Metric and Warehouse listed on the AIM. Meanwhile, Urban Logistics, a specialist in the “last mile” unit (the last staging post of the hut’s journey), is moving from AIM to the main market at the request of the hut.

Online is not the only factor behind this boom. This trend is accelerated by a pandemic that Savills’ forecasts could last for another three years.

Unfortunately for shoppers, retailers may not offer significant discounts on Black Friday for electronic gadgets due to the lack of essential semiconductors for these items. The shortage of these components is part of a broader global supply chain crisis that affects all types of merchandise, and retailers are trying to tackle it by reissuing storage and other operations.

Richard Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer of Urban Logistics, explains:

Urban Logistics’ share has risen 22% since January, while Segro’s share has risen 39%. Prologis, a US company that is one of Amazon’s top landlords, is also skyrocketing. Prologis has promised to add to its extensive business in the UK this month.

UK and foreign institutions seeking long-term income are one of the surges in these stocks, with nearly £ 11 billion flowing into the sector this year.

One of the attractions of Reits is “Waults” for over 13 years. The key indicator, Vault, is the “weighted average unexpired lease term” of the hut. But are these institutions ridiculously seduced by overpriced assets?

For example, the shares of Tritax Big Box, whose clients are Marks & Spencer and Next, stand at a premium of 26% of the trust’s net worth. Other REITs are also premium. Or are logistics stocks reassuringly expensive just because of the yields offered?

These can be lower than before, but they are still comparable to cash and gold coins. Richard Williams of Quoted Data, an investment analytics group, said tenants have difficulty negotiating rent due to lack of available space. “It’s a landlord’s market.”

Logistics warehouses were once considered the ugly ducks of commercial real estate, but their shift to the most fascinating activities confuses even those who admire the vibrancy of this sector.

These buildings can be green-their flat roofs are ideal for solar panels-but they are rarely architectural masterpieces. Williams of the quoted data says it is difficult to see clouds above the horizon. Special taxes may be levied on online retailers. “But it’s unclear exactly what the impact will be.”

The sentiment surrounding the hut is even more optimistic than when this column highlighted its potential in January, including in Europe, where online shopping is growing.

Inspired by this, I put some money into the Aberdeen Standard European Logistics Income Trust, which has a premium of 7%. Williams summarizes the charm of Europe as follows: “A new cohort of population and many retailers have inevitably overcome barriers to online retailing and have become accustomed to buying and selling goods in this way.”

Darius McDermott of Fund Calibre is also a European enthusiast. He states: ‘To the extent of internally managed funds, managers own Tritax Eurobox, an expert in this area through Tritax BigBox. They do a good job of managing their assets, adding solar panels to the roof and expanding to give investors a small increase in capital along with their income if possible.

Tritax Eurobox has a premium of 8% and a yield of 3.75%. Like its British counterpart, this may not be your idea of ​​buying a bargain.

It is worth noting that financial institutions see these trusts as bets on long-term changes in the retail industry. These REITs are on my Christmas wish list, but I will wait for the stock price to weaken.

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Not attractive, but retail logistics is the wonder of the most valuable warehouses

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