In a new feature story for Heartland Real Estate Business, HSA Commercial Real Estate’s Bob Smietana outlines the innovation and trend changes in the industrial, retail and healthcare sectors due to COVID-19 lifestyle changes. In the article, Bob points to the rapid increase in e-commerce leading to a boom for industrial warehouses and a retail reboot.
“A growing focus on omnichannel retail means goods not only need to be sent to stores, many of which have come to function as mini fulfillment centers during the pandemic, but also to consumers directly — and fast. This trend has fueled demand for large, modern warehouses close to major population centers and with easy access to transit infrastructure.”
Furthermore, with many brick-and-mortar stores shifting their footprint to fulfilling online orders, it is expected that the creation of “micro-fulfillment centers,” in partnership with large automated warehouses, will allow retailers to save on costs while speeding up delivery.
While the healthcare sector has been largely immune to many of the challenges of the pandemic, Bob spotlights the surge in telehealth and the estimate that 20 percent of medical visits will be virtual going forward, at least initially.
“Yet even when virtual visits will suffice for an initial consultation, many follow-up appointments will need to be conducted in-person, as will most diagnostic tests and any outpatient procedures. As such, telemedicine is widely viewed as a supplement to traditional care — one whose future growth will be largely determined by insurers’ willingness to cover those services coming out of the pandemic.”
To read Bob Smietana’s full column, check out the latest issue of Heartland Real Estate Business.