E-commerce shoppers love next-day and same-day delivery, but to provide that kind of service, retailers need fulfillment centers located close to customers’ homes. No matter how efficient a DC may be, it’s hard to guarantee same-day delivery if truck drivers are constantly getting stuck in traffic. Trouble is, because of robust competition in the industrial market, local fulfillment space is tough to find right now.
One private equity firm sees a business opportunity in that dilemma. The Florida-based investment company Sterling Organization said in August it had raised $225 million in funding for investments in logistics real estate. Specifically, the firm “seeks to opportunistically acquire primarily vacant, freestanding retail buildings with the intent to convert them into ‘Neighborhood Fulfillment Centers.’”