Ladies and Gentleman, thank you, we did it! The Future of Self-Storage is experiencing growth in the UK, with occupancy and profitability on the rise as well. In the rest of Europe, the Storage units’ sector is more fragmented; and whilst it is still growing, growth is slower and the uptake remains low.
So, what is the current state of the industry and what can we expect from it in 2020 and beyond?
Self-Storage in Doncaster is Growing
The demand in the Storage industry is getting more strong, stronger than in 2019. The UK is still the largest market in Storage Boxes and Storage units with 47% of the total number in most facilities being in Doncaster. France comes in at number 2, however, it is considered to be smaller than the UK equivalent. From the amount of storage space and the number of facilities Europe has, the UK and Doncaster still dominates.
There are now over 1,500 Self-Storage sites in the UK, with Blue Box Storage being the most popular in Doncaster and the Yorkshire region. There was a rise when compared to the previous year of 2019 of just 5%, even the amount of space used in our storage boxes is also up by 8.8%. This is the equivalent to 44.6 million square feet of space. These figures from Blue Box Storage – Doncaster Storage clearly shows the importance of the industry, as well as the growth in customer demand.
The Average size of the Storage Units is growing, although domestic uses are continuing to take smaller spaces compared to commercial users. When it comes to business Storage, individuals and businesses tend to rent larger units with some even having more than one. Across the country, the balance of domestic and business customers is still largely unchanged (60% of clients are domestic and 40% are business owners).
In 2018, 2.4 million square feet of storage space was added to Blue Box’s site. There are now more Self-Storage operators in the UK, especially in South Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire, so the supply in the North of England is twice the UK average per capita. Unsurprisingly, even rental rates are also higher in these regions. Higher up north in Scotland, most storage sites are concentrated across the Central Belt in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
What are the Challenges in Self-Storage?
On the contrary to what you may think, Self-Storage is still a developing market in the UK. Weirdly, only 2% of the British people use a Storage Unit, however, over 40% say they will repeat the experience. Another challenge facing the market is the low public awareness of the Storage industry and in particular, the operators. Most people who have decided to choose self-storage do so out of necessity, not due to a lifestyle purchase. This means that many customers, from students, homeowners and business owners have no idea of the cost and the unit size that they need.
Still, both domestic and business customers are storing for longer periods of time. At Blue Box Storage – Doncaster Self-Storage, the average stay is in excess of 100 weeks. Although, consumers tend to use the Google to search “Storage Units near me” which means they are no longer interact with staff members in the same way.
What to expect in 2020?
There were several opportunities for growth in 2019 and the same applies to the new year, 2020! Not least through the expectations of more storage sites becoming available and units being delivered. Some operators are starting to offer a larger range of services such as, goods, disposal, longer opening hours, shelving in units and Wi-Fi and more lighting options.
The UK is still feeling the remnants and headache of the never-ending Brexit debate, causing profit issues around the country. However, despite the Brexit Uncertainty in the property chain, it can still provide an opportunity and the team at Blue Box Storage intend to continue providing fantastic Self-Storage and world-class customer service, as well as offering great incentives to make our clients’ lives easier.
At Blue Box Storage Doncaster, we are excited about what 2020 and a new decade will bring and looking forward to growing our partnership with you in Self-Storage. You can also continue to expect excellent customer service for the rest of 2019, so come on in and talk to us if you want to know more about the Storage opportunity that is best for you.