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Pioneering the Chinese Self-Storage Market: Locker Locker Adopts a Western Business Model

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The Road Ahead

Locker Locker is one of the first companies to attempt making self-storage a viable industry in China. It aims to attract individuals, corporate clients, small businesses, and white-collar workers and foreigners. Its developers will continue to build a diverse range of facilities and services, ranging from the almost unacceptable to top-end, institutional providers.

Locker Locker’s ambition is to educate and create demand throughout the region, raising awareness about self-storage using a systematic business model and scaling facilities at a rapid rate. Each newly planned property will provide hundreds of units in all shapes and sizes to appeal to a wide range of customers.

Additional revenue streams are also planned. Facilities will be constructed in densely populated communities to increase ease of access, and company moving trucks will be available to customers who don’t have access to a car or other transportation. This is a strategic move considering the number of motor vehicles per 1,000 people in China is estimated at approximately 85 compared to nearly 800 in the United States.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Many Chinese entrepreneurs are investing in self-storage facilities all over the nation. The rise of the industry is providing new lifestyle flexibility and convenience to a growing middle class, making the concept popular with all types of people. As a result, Chinese operators are reporting healthy occupancy levels, raising the hope for a bright future.

There’s little doubt that China and Southeast Asia are poised for significant self-storage growth. The market's pattern is similar to that of the early Australian and U.S. markets, and Chinese operators have an insatiable need for knowledge. They have one major advantage over their U.S. counterparts: the benefit of 30 years of self-storage development history from which they can easily learn valuable lessons. In addition, the technology available today will make their jobs much easier.

Unlike the self-storage market in Australia and the United States, where small, mom-and-pop operators established the business, the Chinese market will be dominated by commercial and corporate operators. The industry will grow quickly, with most companies laying significant expansion plans.

China is a dynamic, fast-paced society, and Locker Locker is among the first self-storage businesses to successfully adopt the western self-storage model, with services and features designed to appeal to and serve the local market. This will likely ensure the company's ongoing success.

Dallas Dogger is CEO of Centreforce Technology Group, which has been trading in Australia for more than 10 years. The company specializes in self-storage software, websites and security, and offers a third-party application called RapidStor, which has been responsible for more than 500 online self-storage move-ins. Centreforce represents SMD Software Inc.'s SiteLink Web Edition in Australasia and is the developer of AccessEzy, a digital access-control system. To reach the author, e-mail .

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