Friday, May 23, 2014

How does the US Self Storage Industry Compare to Overseas?

Americans differ from our brother across the pond in many ways. We say “soda” and across the UK, they say “pop”. The differences are interesting to note and if you’ve ever wondered how those differences translate to self storage then we’re here to appease your curiosity.

Self storage has been around in the United States since the 1960s but only started to make its rounds in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. According to Inside Self Storage, there are more than 50,000 self storage facilities in America when compared to the 1,000 locations in the U.K. It’s obvious that Americans,from Miami to Chicago and across the nation have a greater need for self storage than our neighbors in the U.K. Over the years, Americans have grown to accumulate a lot of things. Holidays like Black Friday are designed to have us collect even more stuff. The American culture of consumption means that there will always be a need for self storage since items are accumulated so quickly.

The self storage industry in the U.S. is also a major force in the economic sector. The National Self Storage Association puts the number of employees in the self storage industry at 172,000 in the U.S. and 2,000 in the U.K. The industry continues to grow even further in the U.K. and this has been credited to the many operators and small companies that have moved to this sector.

The total storage space is another area where the U.S. exceed the U.K. in self storage. There is over 2.3 billion square feet allocated for self storage use America while there is 30 million square feet of storage space in the U.K. This puts the square footage per person at 7.4 in America and 0.5 in the U.K. The over 30,000 self storage operators in America bring in an annual total revenue of $22 billion. Not to be outdone, the 400 operators in the U.K. bring in about $610 million each year. The numbers show that self storage is a big earner in both countries.

There are also certain similarities in the services offered in the U.S. and U.K. WeStore, a self storage startup in the U.K., recently launched a per-box and valet service. The company takes care of the pickup and delivery for self storage and the prices range from £3.95 to £5.95 monthly per box. Customers can keep track of inventory online with a four-digit code that is assigned to each box. In the U.S., a similar service known as Clutter was recently launched. Clutter operates on the same premise as WeStore where the customer has the option to have boxes picked up and taken away to be stored. All inventory can easily be tracked in with the Clutter app.

The difference between U.S. and U.K. self storage is primarily in the size of the industry. However, the basic operation and availability of service remains the same. Whether you are in the U.K. or the U.S., self storage can help to make your daily life a little bit easier by taking the stress out of finding somewhere to store your most treasured items.


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