Savills News

Savills expands pan-European omnichannel retail investment offering

International real estate advisor Savills has expanded its European investment offer to include a dedicated Omnichannel Retail team, allowing the firm to advise clients on the whole retail supply chain in this market.

The new team will be led by Marcus de Minckwitz, who moves from Savills UK Investment team where he has had great success focusing on the retail warehouse sector for the last five years. He will be working alongside Oli Fraser-Looen, Savills Head of Retail Investment in Europe.

E-commerce is growing rapidly across the continent and is forecast to grow by another 5-10% this year according to Savills. As a result the logistics market is currently one of the most in-demand sectors in Europe. While this is a hugely exciting time for the logistics market, Savills notes that this sudden structural shift presents a number of challenges for both physical and digital retailers. These include rising distribution and inventory holding costs, very high levels of returns, the ease of cost comparison for the consumer and the need to maintain and improve the customer experience, all of which impact heavily on real estate strategy and performance.

Oli Fraser-Looen, Head of Retail Investment Europe, Savills, comments: “Retailers’ real estate strategies are central to them successfully adapting to the structural changes in the retail markets and we believe there is a unique opportunity as investment advisors to offer retailers, logistics providers, developers and investors a bespoke service that considers the whole supply chain.

“In order to help our clients capitalise best on this structural change we are expanding our offer to ensure we are able to provide them with best in class advice on multichannel retailing across the continent. Currently logistics and retail are considered very separate asset classes, but we believe the future on a pan-European level will be a highly fluid one where parts of the retail and logistics supply chain merge into a new asset class. Marcus has seen first-hand the impact of e-commerce on both of these sectors in the UK and his experience will help clients capitalise on the expected growth of e-commerce across the rest of the continent. He will be a true asset to our existing strong retail client base.”

Marcus de Minckwitz, European Cross-Border Logistics Investment, Savills, comments: “The logistics markets across continental Europe are now experiencing the same impact that e-commerce has had on the UK over the last five years where retail linked tenants have accounted for over 60% of take-up during that time period.

“Average online sales across Europe are still less than half of those in the UK but it is clear that the rapid growth of e-commerce we have seen in the UK is already well underway on the continent and this is translating into occupier demand for the logistics sector. At the moment the real estate profession is taking a multichannel approach to the way in which it advises on the different properties within the retail supply chain. Our new omnichannel retail group combines our retail and logistics expertise across Europe to provide an integrated advisory service to our clients.”

Recent pan-European retail and logistic deals that Savills has advised on include Cerberus Capital Management’s sale of three logistics assets operated by Staples in Lille, Paris and Turin for a combined total of €37.3m, the last of which completed in July 2018, and advising on Meyer Bergman’s disposal of Forum Nova Karolina in the Czech Republic to REICO for ca. €220m in December 2018.

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