The self-storage industry is one of the most fascinating sectors in the British economy. Although the overall performance of the UK’s industrial sector has been somewhat lacklustre over the last few years, the self-storage sector has continued to grow apace, thanks primarily to the utility that it offers broad swathes of the population. Self-storage is fast becoming an essential part of the way that businesses go about their operations and private citizens keep their possessions safe during various life stages.
In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into 2019 facts and statistics about self-storage using the latest industry data. We’ll discover how many self-storage units there are in the UK, by how much the industry is growing, how much the industry turns over, and much much more.
Self-Storage Is Becoming More Consumer-Friendly
Self-storage was once targeted towards the removal industry, providing removal companies with a place to put household items while they facilitated a move. But over time, the nature of self-storage has changed as the leading companies in the market realised that the best way to attract new business was to offer homeowners a space they could use outside the home where they could safely store valuable possessions.
Today, customers of self-storage companies can access their possessions any time of the day and get high-quality, secure storage facilities at affordable prices.
There Are 1,430 Storage Sites In The UK
The self-storage market is competitive in the UK, comprising dozens of businesses that operate both regionally and nationally. The largest provider of self-storage units had 110 sites at the last count, with the rest of the market made up of dozens of smaller players, many of which have 10 sites or less. Overall, there are 1,505 storage sites in the UK, providing more than 44.6 million square feet of storage space.
Around a quarter of all the sites in the UK offer what is known as “container-based storage,” where providers use large stationary shipping containers to provide storage facilities for customers.
The Industry Turns Over £540m
The self-storage industry turns over £540 million per year. In other words, customers pay companies in the sector over half a billion pounds a year to keep their possessions safe.
The Average Facility Is 29,600 Square Feet
A large family home is about 3,000 square feet. The average size of self-storage facilities in the UK, therefore, is about ten times the size of a big detached house – the kind of house you might find in the countryside.
The Industry Has A Further 1.179 Million Square Feet Of Capacity
Although 29,600 square feet might not sound like a lot of space, the industry says that overall it has more than a million square feet of space that it could access in 2019, should it need to do so.
Only 30 Percent Of UK Self-Storage Sites Are Run By Big Operators
The self-storage market is characterised by a healthy level of competition and market dilution. While we see one company dominate many sectors, the self-storage market is not one of them. The number of self-storage companies with ten or more sites only comprise 30 per cent of the overall market, as measured by revenue. Seventy per cent of the market is made up of independent operators.
London Has About Twice The Self Storage Capacity Per Capita Compared To The UK As A Whole
It should come as no surprise that London has the highest amount of self-storage capacity per capita of any region in the UK. Space in London comes at a premium, and so people have a greater need to rent space.
There Are 240,508 Lets Per Year In London, Fewer Everywhere Else
London is the biggest self-storage market in the UK, as measured by the total number of lettings. The next most active market is the South East with 169,892 lets, followed by the North West with 135,921, the South West with 113,674 and then the East of England, with 104,599. The least active region from a self-storage perspective is the North East. In the Newcastle and Durham area, there were just 45,344 lets.
Despite Brexit, The Majority Of Self-Storage Companies Expect Improvements In Profit
Brexit might be putting the brakes on businesses elsewhere in the economy, but not in the self-storage sector according to industry participants. Seventy per cent of companies said that they expected improved profits in the future, with just five per cent reporting that they foresaw a downturn. The main worry for companies is the continued political uncertainty.