It is not unusual for trends to start in one country before they take over the rest of the world. Sometimes they take the world by storm like the Beatles did. Other times the process is a little slower and more gradual like in the case of the self storage industry.
Now true—it is easier for music to spread around the world that it is a business concept, but as the world sees how successful a business endeavor it is in the United States more are willing to give it a try in other countries.
Of course for any business to succeed the people have to be interested. With over 50,000 facilities in the United States and revenue over $24 billion it is pretty clear what the industry is capable of.
The industry has done well in the UK. In a recent report the Self Storage Association UK said that the number of facilities has grown by four percent over the last year. While that may not be considered a large increase the general belief is that those in the industry will be more profitable in the coming year.
“We have removed all the automatic ‘move-in’ hooks and are generally quoting rack rate or just below depending on supply. Surprisingly, our conversion rate has gone up!” said Mike Wilson of Smart Storage.
“Confidence is definitely up. We’ve had a very strong start to the year with demand mostly from householders,” said Nick Poole from Fort Locks Self Storage.
The market in South Africa has been steadily growing according to the nation’s industry leader, Stor-Age Self Storage. The company is now established in each of South Africa’s six major cities with a portfolio of 33 facilities (up from 24). In total the company services over 14,500 units and 200,000 square meters of space.
The company has an asset value of more than 1.5 billion rand (or $15.74 billion), and has committd another 500 million rand ($5.26 billion) to developing future facilities.
But are the people really interested in self storage in South Africa?
In the last year the company has fielded over 25,000 inquiries and at least three new customers a day. The best day saw 22 new tenants sign up; the best month—80. For the year they gained over 7000 new tenants.
So the answer to the question is yes!
“Video: South Africans See Growth In Self Storage Industry.” Stor-Age; 19 May 2014.
“The Self Storage Association UK Annual Survey.” Self Storage Association UK.
2013 SSA Fact Sheet; Self Storage Association.