From Shipping Box to Big Box


Just as we thought the online “Cyber Monday” shopping day might overtake the “Black Friday” shopping frenzy, another trend — decidedly analog — is taking hold:

Internet retail giants such as Birchbox, Garnet Hill, Blue Nile and yes, even Amazon, are opening brick-and-mortar stores.

Despite significant gains in online shopping in recent years, still, more than 90% of purchases are being made off-line — that is, in real stores. In real buildings. And as the millennial generation moves into urban centers, forsaking suburbs and traditional shopping malls, retailers are following, fueling yet more development.

That’s good news for the construction industry. And, certainly, for those of us in the concreted slice of that business.

Big-box retailers have been expanding at a rapid pace, too. All this expansion adds up to projected retail construction growth that will top out at just over 10% this year and rise by about 9% in 2016, according to the American Institute of Architects’ most recent Consensus Construction Forecast. (Consensus Construction Forecast Jan. 2015)

This promises healthy gains in the concrete industry. The Portland Cement Association projects 6.5% growth in the use of cement in construction next year.

Now that’s a trend we can buy into.