Self-storage industry is still growing in the UK with a reported number of over 1020 facilities and as matching websites like www.goodstorageleeds.co.uk have arisen to assist would-be investors and interested renters in looking for their ideal storage facility. In fact, it has also been reported that the industry has grown by 1.3 million square feet in the UK. There has also been a reported increase of about 7% in the average rental rates of all the self-storage facilities in the UK. It had reportedly returned to £21 per square feet—a number they had not attained since October 2012.
Self-storage is the system of renting available units of space to store possessions. It is the way to go for those who are looking for room to store their unused belongings without taking up space in their homes, condos, apartments, and office buildings. Through self-storage, excess belongings, instead of being thrown out or sold, may be kept in storage facilities for safekeeping especially if those belongings hold sentimental value to the owner. It has also been widely used by businesses to keep confidential documents and as an alternative for warehousing.
However, Rennie Schafer of Self-Storage Association UK believes that this growth can be attributed to the rise of low-capital and rural businesses like farming instead of the bigger and urban businesses. Schafer says that self-storage is an easy way to enter the market due to the low capital needed for rental. However, the low capital required means that revenue would also tend to come slower. Therefore, farmers have adapted the industry in the rural areas by using barns or their unused farming space.
Although the number of self-storage facilities and operators are still increasing, especially in the rural areas, the bigger urban players are still dominating the market wherein the top six operators hold about 35% of the market share in the self-storage industry. In fact, Big Yellow alone holds 25% of the revenue of the industry at around £100 million.
Despite the growth of the industry in the UK, it still pales in comparison to the US wherein there are 7.3 square feet per person allotted for self-storage compared to the .56 square feet in the UK. Even Australia has a bigger number at 1.6 square feet per person. Schafer believes that this is due to about 55% of UK consumers being uneducated of what self-storage is all about.