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To unlock the warehouse you must first have 10 Serfs. Click on your Labor bar: found in the toolbar at the top of the screen to open the labor panel. Unlock the warehouse, which will now be found in your building menu.
Also the slots of the chosen resource will be used for quests. Also you need a warehouse to sell goods in your market. If you have a stall to sell clothes, the clothes need to be in the warehouse.
Warehouse is also used to increase the number of your materials. For example you can only stock 50 or 52 wood in your Lumber Camp if you do not have a warehouse. To have more wood in your inventory you will need to add more Lumber Camps or store your wood in a warehouse.
You can store up to 400 items in the warehouse - 100 items in each of 4 slots.
Each slot has 4 menu items:
The red X ("Refuse") means the good won't be accepted into the Warehouse
The green check mark ("Accept") makes it so the transporter gets the goods from the producer (ie Lumber Camp, Blacksmith...etc)
The green up arrow ("Stock Maximum") makes it so the transporter gets the goods from any other Warehouse (with items not marked as Stock Maximum) instead of from the producer in order to try to fill the slot and keep it full.
The red down arrow ("Empty Stock") slowly empties all stock of that item, and does not accept anymore of that item.
The Warehouse only stocks Resource, Goods, and Luxury Goods. A Granary is needed in order to store food.