The stores are large buildings that often are filled with articles, shelves, equipment and others that belong to the company owner. However, a warehouse can serve several functions beyond acting as a storage facility. Using a store depends largely on the needs of the owner.
The most common function of a warehouse is to act as a storage space for items of inventory, equipment or other things. The inventory warehouses often contain a lot of industrial shelving and shelf storage containers and may have a computerized inventory tracking to help in monitoring the elements contained in the warehouse. Some stores may contain inventory and equipment for multiple businesses by sharing the storage space to reduce overall storage costs.
Some stores operate as a center of shipping, receiving shipments and holding the goods until they are loaded onto other trucks and shipped elsewhere. Depending on the company operating the warehouse, the dispatch center can meet the needs of an individual company or receive shipments for multiple companies. The industrial buildings used as shipping centers often operate extended hours, sometimes, make and receive shipments through the day and night.
Owners of stores may choose to split their stores to make room for offices, meeting rooms and other rooms that do not fit the role of a traditional store. This is especially common for companies that operate primarily outside the store, such as wholesalers and some construction-related contractors. The office areas and meeting rooms allow administrators to meet with potential customers without the added expense of maintaining a dedicated office space in a separate building.
As warehouses with office areas, stores have parts of its available space designed as a work area for the development of the product or its finish. This allows business owners to save money by combining what would otherwise be a workshop and a storage area. By having a work area within the store itself, the transportation requirements are also reduced. Repairs of damaged items are also produced on site using the available tools.
Some stores serve as a source of rental income for its owners that rent to others who use them as storage or other purposes. Under the lease, the company or person who rents the store can have a high degree of freedom in terms of warehouse organization and may not be able to make permanent changes to the warehouse space to accommodate office areas or other sections.