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Creating a Robust Self-Storage Retail Store Inventory, Design and Displays

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By ISS Staff

When a customer walks into your self-storage facility, he’s usually looking for more than just a secure place to store his stuff. He often needs a convenient and cost-effective way to pack and move it as well. This is a golden opportunity to highlight your retail prowess and inspire loyalty by fulfilling those needs.

Your facility’s retail display isn’t only a way to generate add-on profit, it’s a solution center for customers who need guidance and products to “get the job done.” Proper inventory, design and display will ensure your facility attracts more customers and makes more money.

Inventory

First, you have to decide which merchandise to offer. “Keeping ample stock of the high-selling items such as locks, boxes of various sizes, and packing and protection supplies is key,” says Julie Bayley, project manager for Pogoda Cos., a third-party management firm that owns and manages 18 properties in Michigan and Ohio. “Other supplies such as markers, box cutters, tape and gloves offer the customer the convenience of a one-stop shopping area for all of their moving and storage supplies.”

Also carry items that go beyond the basics. Anything that helps tenants safely prepare their possessions for storage is guaranteed to sell. Consider dish-packing kits, mattress covers, moving blankets, box labels, rope, zip ties, and boxes specifically designed for mirrors, pictures and TVs. Also consider impulse items people are likely to grab on the go like cold drinks and snacks, flashlights, and first-aid staples (bandages and pain relievers come in very handy during a move).

Items to stock in a self-storage retail store*** 

Design

When it comes to designing your retail store, your office size will usually dictate how much space to reserve. Fortunately, there are strategies to make the most of any area, big or small. “We have everything from 25 square feet of space to 300 square feet of space for merchandise display. Each store has at least 4 to 8 feet of wall space for product display,” says Rob Consalvo, director of operations for iStorage, which operates 67 facilities in 10 states.

A large office provides ample room for stacks of boxes and floor fixtures brimming with packing materials; however, it can also be overwhelming for customers. A novice packer may wonder where to start. To produce a sense of simplicity and calm, create a large focal point at eye level. This could be an artful display of boxes or a rotating stand of locks.

When you carry a wide array of products, it can be tempting to display everything. While it’s great to offer variety, too much in a small area looks cluttered and will make your store feel overstimulating. If a customer can’t quickly find the items he needs, he’ll go elsewhere.

If you have a large retail area, consider dividing it into sections. Boxes and bubble wrap can be grouped together, as can smaller items like markers and tape. The goal is to make it easy and convenient for people to shop with you.

If you have a very small office with no room for retail, consider converting a nearby unit into a store. You can even replace the roll-up door with a glass store front to make it more like a true retail space.

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