The past, present and future of UK self storage

Feb 02 | 2023

Rennie Schafer, CEO of the Self Storage Association, took part in the Seminar Theatre at The Movers & Storers Show last November.

Rennie Schafer

His presentation looked at the past, present and future of self storage in the UK and painted a picture of optimism, with a touch of caution.

His summary of the last two years was comprehensive and positive.  He said that occupancy rates were up around the sweet spot of 85%, churn rates were down to an exceptionally low average of 76% and there was less discounting as operators had less need to attract new customers. Average rates per square foot were £26.13p.  He also explained that there had been a trend towards operators opening up more facilities in the north of England to escape the property prices in and around London. In summary he said it had been a very successful couple of years.

But it wasn’t all good news.  Although the cost of sales wasn’t significantly affected by inflation, the cost of debt had risen significantly putting pressures on potential revenues. Construction costs had gone “crazy” and the cost of shipping containers for self storage had also increased.

Public awareness of self storage remains low, by comparison to the US market, with around half of the UK population not fully understanding the product.  Educating the market is a major challenge for the future.

Where are we now? ...

Photo: Rennie Schafer, CEO of the Self Storage Association.

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