The self storage industry has been one of the few sectors to do well during the current economic struggles that much of the world is suffering through. Companies and people in the United States have been taking advantage of it for some time. It is starting to appear as if people and companies in the UK are ready to jump on the bandwagon.
Like in the United States, people in the UK are doing so for a reason. Many people have found themselves in situations where they had to downsize their homes. To protect themselves, many companies in the housing industry are asking for pretty large deposits. This has pushed many to rent smaller spaces instead (resulting in a need for affordable space to store what will not go in their new home).
“The big change which has taken place in the housing market has led to a particularly buoyant rental sector, particularly in London. This benefits self-storage because rental occupiers tend to move every 18 months to two years, compared with owner-occupiers who move every seven years. Also, people are moving into smaller flats due to higher rental prices,” said Safestore CEO Peter Gowers.
Safestore has seen its occupancy grow almost 10 percent over the last year (ending in October). Much of it has been due to an increase in businesses utilizing the facility (almost half of their existing customers). Among some of the businesses making use of self storage units at Safestore are online retailers looking to save on overhead and British Gas (in order to store their smart meters).
A lot of self storage companies in the UK are trying to cater to businesses in order to entice them into being clients. Manchester Self Storage has gone as far as to offer free storage boxes to companies while supplies last. They are giving up to 10 per company while supplies last, a value of approximately 35 pounds. It’s a small savings, but when you are looking to cut costs every bit can help.
Manchester Self Storage takes the service a step further by offering to deliver storage containers to offices. Once the office has filled it with whatever records they want to put into storage, someone from the self storage facility will come back, pick the container up, and bring back to the facility for safekeeping.
The industry still has a long way to go to become anything remotely like what the United States has, but it appears to be on its way!
“Rental boom is good news for Safestore as squeeze continues on house buyers.” London Evening Standard; 26 January 2012.
“Giveaway: Free Storage Boxes For Businesses.” Manchester Confidential; 26 January 2012.