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CHICAGO, Nov. 21, 2016 – With the holiday shopping season underway, Cushman & Wakefield examined the impact of e-commerce on the supply chain and brick-and-mortar retail in a November webinar. The program, “Bricks vs. Clicks,” focused on why Cyber Monday is eclipsing Black Friday, and the ongoing implications of e-commerce growth into 2017 and beyond.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Ben Conwell, eCommerce Fulfillment Practice Group leader (and former Amazon North American operations real estate director), and Garrick Brown, head of Retail Research for the Americas, led the discussion.

“November and December comprise the biggest shopping season of the year, and for many retailers sales during these two months represent a major percentage of annual revenue,” Brown said. “In short, this is a make or break time for retail. The good news is that we anticipate 3.7 percent overall holiday retail sales growth in 2016, despite the election and hinging somewhat on weather as a wildcard. A number of interesting trends will impact both bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce retail this season – including the continuation of ‘Christmas creep,’ with discounting and markdowns motivating bargain-seeking consumers to start shopping earlier.”

Conwell and Brown touched on a variety of topics, including:

  • Ramifications of the continuing growth of peak holiday online shopping
  • The minds and motivators of the holiday shopper
  • Latest trends for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and why people should care
  • The combined power of sticks and bricks
  • How the large delivery companies are preparing for peak volumes
  • Trends from Amazon
  • Changing customer demands regarding delivery – speed vs. cost

The webinar also addressed what these trends mean for the industrial and retail real estate sectors. Conwell noted that demand remains strong across all industrial product types, including large peripheral fulfillment centers and smaller close-in fulfillment centers, sortation hubs and last-mile depots. In some cases, major retailers are working to leverage their bricks-and-mortar stores in this mix.

“Last-mile fulfillment continues to be the main driver and biggest challenge for e-commerce,” Conwell said. “Retailers are increasing their push to be better, smarter, faster and cheaper, and to position the right inventory closer to the customer at the right time. Delivery companies are working hard to surging demand, especially during the holidays. Consider this: UPS is projecting 13 of 21 holiday delivery days before Christmas to exceed 30 million shipments, as compared to average non-peak volumes of 18 million shipments per day.”

The webinar archive is available in its entirety at




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Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. Our 43,000 employees in more than 60 countries help investors and occupiers optimize the value of their real estate by combining our global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $5 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory. To learn more, visit or follow @CushWake on Twitter.

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