The health and safety of Goodman staff, customers and contractors has been the priority of the Board and Manager. Business continuity plans were activated following the introduction of the Government’s Alert Level system and the move into lockdown.
An essential business classification for the Trust recognised the important role warehousing and logistics plays in the national supply chain. It has enabled Goodman to operate almost uninterrupted throughout the Alert Level restrictions.
Flexible work practices and an agile workplace have enabled all Goodman team members to work remotely when required, with seamless access to network applications and other resources.
Additional health and safety precautions that included new social distancing and contact tracing protocols together with personal protective equipment have helped keep our team members and worksites safe.
Development activity was able to continue with only limited interruption and all active projects were completed on schedule and within budget.
The urban logistics market has continued to be the best performing of all the commercial property sectors.
Overall leasing demand has remained strong and portfolio occupancy has been maintained at an average of 99%.
While the majority of GMT’s customers have adapted to the new operating environment, a small number, typically retail and hospitality businesses, have experienced significant hardship as a result of COVID-19. As a long-term business partner, the Trust has supported these more vulnerable customers. This assistance has included rent abatements, rent deferrals, rent freezes, lease restructures and marketing support.
Consumers have responded to the risks of COVID-19 by embracing the convenience and safety of online sales and contactless delivery. During Alert Levels 4 and 3 from late March to mid-May 2020, the average weekly online spend in the Food, Groceries and Liquor category grew over 100% compared to 12 months earlier.
The trend has been sustained beyond the initial lockdown period and it highlights a continuing shift in consumer behaviour with around $5.8 billion of online sales in New Zealand in 2020. The level of online shopping represents around 11% of total retail sales in New Zealand, an increase of 25% from a year earlier.
The rapid growth in e-commerce is also reflected in greater demand for logistics and delivery services. It’s another positive demand driver for well-located industrial property in the country’s largest consumer market.