Retail to warehouse conversion checklist

The rise of e-commerce has changed a number of practices in the retail sector, among companies at all levels of the supply chain and the consumers who buy from them. If your company sells online, you may be searching for more warehouse space to accommodate demanding customers who have become accustomed to fast shipping on their e-commerce purchases. One way to deliver such value is through the addition of new facilities to your network.

The square footage required to open those new facilities may be opening up around the country. Though many of the commercial properties being sold today are retail spaces instead of warehouses, you can still fill your company’s requirements by converting the buildings. Whether you’re considering turning your own stores into warehouses as part of an online refocusing effort or you’re seeking abandoned storefronts as affordable pieces of real estate, retail to warehouse conversions are potential value drivers.

Trend watch: Warehouse space needed

Warehouses and distribution centers are essential organs in an efficient e-commerce organization. Having a network of facilities dedicated to delivering goods to online buyers allows your company to improve delivery times to various regions, potentially improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Retailers around the country have committed to adding more warehouse space at the expense of retail outlets. According to Material Handling & Logistics, these projects have begun moving ahead across the U.S., despite the fact that such development was considered unlikely earlier in the e-commerce era. Citing data from CBRE, MH&L posited that big-box storefronts are the best facilities for conversion. Located on prime properties, these buildings may already possess loading docks suitable for their new lives as warehouses or distribution centers.

JLL Real Views added that office space is another kind of real estate that may make for good warehouse space. In the past, developers saw warehouses as a lesser type of property than offices or retail stores, but the e-commerce economy is driving demand and changing priorities. JLL added that a recent development project in Chicago turned a parking garage into a warehouse, marking an industry first.

Your conversion checklist

Once you’ve committed to creating warehouse space in what was once a retail property, there are a few steps to take in ensuring the project delivers the expected value. The following are the essential stages of such a project, which are best accomplished with the aid of a trusted third party:

Make a detailed plan

Creating a warehouse that meets industry standards and your company’s needs means installing a new set of industrial equipment, from doors and loading docks to all the assets required for picking and packing of orders. The assets already in place in retail environments tend not to be up to the heavy-duty standards that will be required for warehouse use. Everything should be checked and verified beforehand, with necessary replacements suggested by expert consultants and no decisions made on the fly.

Select the right OEMs

Selecting original equipment manufacturers to work with may be one of the most important decisions you make in the course of converting your space. Getting high-quality assets rather than settling for lesser offerings could have a huge positive impact on your equipment’s longevity and return on investment.

Customize equipment for your needs

No two warehouses are the same. When you work with a qualified third party on converting space into a new warehouse or distribution center, the facility can include assets tailored to the company’s exact requirements.

Have the assets professionally installed

Equipment should always be installed with professionalism and care, according to OEM specifications. Problems during the initial stages of installation may have repercussions later, negatively impacting the safety or efficiency of the warehouse.

Commit to planned maintenance

Getting new assets installed is one major priority – keeping them in ideal condition should be another. Long-term maintenance plans should entail both regularly scheduled care, as specified by the OEM, and contingency plans in case repairs are needed. Reach out to Miner today to learn what we can bring to your next warehouse project.