The UK’s first flat-pack self storage system

Mar 26 | 2024

Penn Elcom, the Sussex-headquartered British steel manufacturer, has launched the country’s first DIY self storage system that it claims allows smaller businesses to enter the self storage sector.

Roger WillemsCalled the 3S range, the new system has been developed to allow the user complete flexibility to create any-size unit, in locations that have no pre-existing self storage capabilities. The self-assembly system, claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK, is more than 30% cheaper than pre-made/established units and allows the installer to quickly erect units with minimal tools. Penn Elcom says that the 3S range will allow businesses or individuals to rapidly transform spaces into self storage units at speed and scale, with significant financial returns.

Penn Elcom’s announcement comes at a time when UK self storage continues to rocket as demand increases year-on-year. Turnover for the industry reached £1.08 billion for 2023, according to figures obtained by Penn Elcom from the Self Storage Association (SSA). This is a 23% increase over the past three years from £890 million in 2021. Meanwhile self storage stores witnessed a 35% increase in the UK from 1,997 stores in 2021 to 2,706 stores last year.

Penn Elcom’s Chairman, Roger Willems, said: “Self storage continues to demonstrate its operational resilience and attractiveness as a growth sector. This looks set to continue in 2024, underpinned by robust trading performance and heightened investor appetite. We designed the 3S Self Storage System specifically to provide an economic and quick assembly solution for the UK’s growing self storage industry. We are redefining the self storage experience by allowing smaller businesses access to the market.”

Offerfair, a self storage company based in Hastings, was one of the first small businesses to use Penn Elcom’s flat pack self storage system. The company operates seven sites providing storage for homes and businesses. The company ordered 220 3S self storage units at its 22,000 sq ft facility for approximately £77,000, which took two people to assemble in just over four weeks.

Offerfair, which installed the 3S flat pack systems in 2023, is currently turning over £20,530 per month from the 220 rented out storage units. The company is expected to generate revenue of £246,360 within just 12 months.

An Offerfair spokesperson said: “The units come ready to install, allowing us to construct them quickly and at a reduced cost. The fact it came as a flat pack meant we didn’t need a team to construct the facility, which would have come at a significant cost. We only used two labourers to install all the units, which were easy and quick to assemble.”

Roger Willems added: “The beauty of the product is that due to the 3S being flat pack, companies and individuals can build as slowly or as quickly as they like. For example, you could start with 22 units and build from there, once you witness a return on investment.”

Photos: Penn Elcom Chairman, Roger Willems.