Des Moines Register: More warehouses will be leased and built in Des Moines

Marty Herrmann and his wife haven't set foot in a store since last March. 

The pair, who are in their 60s, instead have turned to online shopping for everything from groceries to clothing and home goods to help protect themselves from the coronavirus. 

"COVID-19 accelerated somebody in my age group ordering everything online," Herrmann said. "We always bought physically from a location; now we order everything online."

Statistics from Black Friday 2020 show a huge shift in consumer shopping habits: 48% fewer people shopped in brick-and-mortar stores than in 2019, while online shopping surged 22% over 2019 to $9 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics. And Cyber Monday set a record for the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, with $10.8 billion in spending, according to Adobe. 

The Des Moines metro saw more than 1.5 million square feet of space added in 2020, said Zach Scheckel, property research director for CBRE | Hubbell Commercial.

That's about 35% more than the previous two-year average, he said. 

The influx of new construction pushed vacancy rates up for several months as companies weighed long-term decisions amid the pandemic. But activity has picked up quickly, and vacancy rates are back to normal levels for the metro.

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