Can Self-Storage Operators Make Money With Wine Storage? First, Some Careful Considerations

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By Amy Fuhlman

As many self-storage owners will attest, the decision of whether to add wine storage to a facility must be considered carefully. Demographics should play a major role, but also the cost of customizing part of your facility to the unique features widely desired, even required, for wine storage.

There are two primary reasons to include wine storage as part of your self-storage operation. First, the monthly revenue per square foot can be exponentially higher than typical climate-controlled storage. Second, it broadens the market appeal and quality perception of a facility while bringing another market segment through the doors. Both are great reasons to consider this add-on service, providing your facility is in the right demographic landscape.

For the most part, wine storage is better used in major metropolitan areas. These areas tend to offer:

  • Clientele with a larger expendable income (upper-middle class)
  • Clientele who have less space for storage (often high rise/downtown dwellings)
  • Five-star restaurants or bars that lack space for wine storage
  • Wine distributors or wholesalers servicing local bars, restaurants and high-end liquor stores that need easy access to stored stock

An Urban Case Study

Consider Rick McClish, a self-storage owner and the founder of Facility Development Corp., which provides construction services throughout Northern California, Nevada and Oregon.  McClish’s urban location, Rose City Self Storage in Portland, Ore., features wine-storage lockers ranging in size from 12 to 160 cases, and walk-in storage for larger collections such as those stored by retailers, restaurants or collectors. A hospitality and tasting room, computer-controlled access, and delivery acceptance are also included.

Rose City Self Storage in Portland, Ore., features wine-storage lockers ranging in size from 12 to 160 cases.

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