Self storage industry booming as survey shows UK holds 48% of European market

Storage King, Gloucester

Revenue in the self storage industry is growing, particularly in larger cities across the United Kingdom, where living space is becoming a premium commodity, says Storage King CEO, Robin Greenwood.

According to the 2018 Self Storage Association UK (SSA) Annual Industry Report, demand for self storage space in the United Kingdom is growing faster than supply, with occupancy levels rising 3% in 2017. To counter this, Storage King, one of the UK’s largest self storage companies, is constantly looking to expand through continued acquisitions of existing companies, by building their own stores and by offering a fully managed service for new entrants into the industry.

For the past eight years Storage King has focused on acquiring quality, freehold assets in the sector to meet this growing demand.

As the sixth largest self storage operator in the UK, Storage King’s portfolio currently comprises 26 stores and a gross lettable area of 920 000 sq ft.

Interestingly, given the size of the UK relative to the rest of Europe, the SSA report reveals that the UK holds a 48% market share of the European self storage market. This bias talks to the maturity of the industry in the UK. With over 30 years trading history, the market is advanced compared to other emerging markets in Europe.

While the report shows average occupancy on current lettable space is up 3% to 76.1% year-on-year, Storage King boasts a 77.2% occupancy.

According to the report, 68% of customers travel 20 minutes or less to their storage unit. Certainly from a Storage King perspective, this is by design as the location of each of the stores is carefully planned to offer convenience and ease of access for customers.

“We understand that the UK public demand this convenience and as such we position our stores accordingly,” Greenwood says.

Self storage is booming for many reasons. “Storage King customers use their secure modern self storage as a solution for a wide range of needs. From residential customers who use storage during home renovations, while moving home, travelling or just as an extension of their home for items such as collectibles or sports equipment. Storage King also assists those who wish to store their valuable or sentimental items which they wish to keep safe but cannot accommodate in their home.”

It’s not just residential customers who are driving the increased demand for self storage –  business customers too, are realising the benefits. “From start-up companies to those using storage for archiving or excess stock, self storage offers a solution for businesses with the added benefit of low overheads and no business rates.”

Greenwood said with the rising cost of housing and rental rates, particularly in larger towns and cities, being able to store your personal items where they are safe yet accessible offers a convenience that the market has clearly responded to.