Big box bulletin

H1 2022 review of distribution activity

PLP Stafford, 334,000 sq ft


Occupier data

Investment data

Key stats

Regional data


Andrew Jackson

Principal & Managing Director, Industrial

In the first half of 2022 there has been no sign of a slowdown in demand for big box, grade A stock across the UK, with take-up levels totalling almost 20 million sq ft, which is 9% higher than the 5 year six-monthly average but 22% lower than the record-levels achieved in the same period in 2021. It has also been driven by a critical lack of stock, with supply totalling just 20 million sq ft at the end of H1.

“Despite the negative outlook of the UK economy, we expect demand for big-box space to continue in the coming months, especially for high quality, sustainable, green buildings. We will also see an increase in the retrofitting of existing industrial stock, as landlords move towards meeting the government’s MEES targets by 2030.“

Andrew Jackson

Principal & Managing Director, Industrial

Robert Rae

Principal & Managing Director, Industrial


The first quarter of 2022 has been somewhat muted for take-up of Grade-A Big Box space, totalling only 4.3 million sq ft, significantly lower than last years’ record Q1 take-up levels of 13.5 million sq ft and 40% lower than the five-year Q1 average of 7.4 million sq ft.

"2022 will be a challenging year for the industrial market, driven by external factors such as ongoing supply chain problems and potential construction delays, however, this is unlikely to hamper demand for space."

Tom Bridgman

Principal, Investment


Investment volumes for distribution and industrial assets during the first quarter of 2022 totalled £1.9 billion. This was 8% down on the comparative period in 2021 and just 3% down on the five-year quarterly average.

“Despite a relatively subdued first quarter, which could be driven by the current economic and political situation – as well as a replenishing of investment stock, after a flurry of activity during the final quarter of 2021 - strong fundamentals will continue to underpin demand across the market.“
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