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Related Cos. Makes Inroads Into Logistics To Provide Amazon Alternative

Surging demand has some developers struggling to keep up new warehouse supply in Atlanta.

There aren't many situations in which Related Cos. would represent the "little guy," but going up against Amazon might be one of them.

The real estate giant best known for building Hudson Yards, the largest private development in U.S. history, has acquired Quiet Logistics, a distribution and logistics company that specializes in primarily online retailers, Fast Company reports. Related's private equity arm, Related Fund Management, made the purchase in a partnership with Greenfield Partners.

Quiet handles shipping for online brands like Bonobos, Tuft & Needle, M. Gemi and Mack Weldon, primarily in the Boston and St. Louis areas, according to Fast Company. The latter two brands will have their first physical storefronts in the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, the new district's central retail complex opening the second week of March. The connection between the distribution and physical retail side will only deepen with the acquisition of Quiet.

With the financial support of Related and Greenfield, Quiet is adding distribution centers in Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles. Quiet's proprietary factory setup includes a high level of automation so that small, unique orders can be packed in branded packaging at a high enough rate of speed to enable same-day delivery in 30% of its distribution network, Fast Company reports. 

Related wants to lend its expertise in finding and acquiring land to bring Quiet facilities as close as possible to its developments in major markets, so that it can continue to bring unique retail tenants from the internet to brick-and-mortar by ensuring rapid delivery of products that aren't in the store allows.

Creating a full logistics network allows companies partnered with Quiet to avoid using Amazon to either sell products online or distribute them quickly. As Amazon attempts to tighten its hold on every element of retail and distribution, being able to stand alone will be a precious commodity.