UK Self Storage Company Leaves Franchise

Posted on Jan 27 2010 - 10:36am by Holly Robinson

A UK self-storage company has decided to leave its parent company, an international franchise, and continue alone. The site, which is located in Embleton, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, originally opened as a self-storage facility in October 2007, as a branch of international self-storage franchiser Storage King. Storage King classified the Cumbrian facility as its North Lakes Cumbria Centre. It was Storage King’s first rural location in the United Kingdom. Now the facility will be known as Box Clever Smart Storage Solutions. 

Box Clever Smart Storage Solutions is now owned and operated by a Cumbrian catering group, Caterite. Caterite had been working with Storage King, but developed a growing confidence that it would be possible to run the business alone, without benefit of the franchise. Caterite’s director, Keith Graham, commented, “The self-storage business we have been operating here at Embleton has been a remarkable success since we opened but the time was right to go on our own and extend it. We feel we can offer our customers a better service under our own private ownership as Box Clever.” 

Caterite provides its customers with deliveries of fresh foods, frozen foods, and wines. While the combination of a catering company and a storage company may be uncommon, it makes sense, as Caterite needs climate controlled storage space for its food products. News coverage of Box Clever’s release from Storage King does not say whether Caterite makes use of the storage space itself, but Box Clever’s website notes that Box Clever offers some unusual corrugated plastic storage boxes, including storage boxes that contain dividers for wine bottles or beverage glasses. 

Rates at Box Clever will not be changing — customers currently pay rates starting at ten British pounds per week. The self storage units at Box Clever are secure and offer 24-hour CCTV coverage. Customers who originally signed agreements with Storage King will be able to automatically transfer their agreements to Box Clever.

Most of Box Clever’s customers are people storing furniture while looking for a place to live, or people who do not have enough space at home for everything they need to store. One tenant keeps a rare collection of stuffed animals in a self storage unit. Some families store cars, boats, and caravans there. Last year, some people who were displaced by flooding in Cockermouth began using Box Clever (then Storage King) as temporary storage for their possessions. Some businesses also use the facility to store equipment.