UK self-storage industry flourishing

UK residents rent four times more self-storage space per person than those in France, and nine times more than people in Germany.

Britain is now home to almost half of all of Europe’s self-storage units with 1,430 self storage sites in the UK offering approximately 42.2 million square feet of space, according to the UK Annual Industry Report* published by the Self Storage Association UK (SSA UK).

Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of self-storage customers are aged between 40 and 65 years old, and 81 per cent are between 35 and 70.

The report finds that this can in part be “attributed to the fact that Millennials are settling down later in life, in terms of establishing more permanent relationships, having children and moving from rented to permanent residences. These life changing moments are often a catalyst for people to use self storage. Divorced or separated people are also more than twice as likely to use self storage as a single person”.

Rents in London, which sit at £29.45 per sq ft, are almost twice that in the East Midlands and the North, while Scotland has shown the greatest increase, rising 23 per cent in the year. Demand across the UK for self-storage space is growing faster than supply.

Rennie Shafer, CEO, UK Self Storage Association, says: “A significant proportion [of self-storage users have] become long-term customers. This is especially true for business users who grow with us from an initial start-up to a fully-fledged company. Some 44 per cent of business customers have stayed for three years or more, compared with 31 per cent of personal customers. Indeed, we estimate that more than 10,000 new businesses were launched last year in UK self storage units. Around 42 per cent of all self storage space in the UK is rented to business owners and a big part of this is online retailers. Self storage offers the flexibility to scale up or down rapidly, giving businesses a cost-effective alternative to traditional leases on commercial premises. Many self storage stores also offer additional services to business customers such as use of office space, internet access and printing.”

The opportunities for business owners in this industry are increasing every day, but self-storage businesses must be actively managed to maximise success. For further information about how our business experts at Beavis Morgan can help you increase revenue generated by your self-storage facility, contact Peter Drown or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

* SSA UK Annual Industry Report 2017