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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

A Sizable Comparison Between the U.S. and U.K. Self-Storage Markets

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A Guest Installment by John Gerrard, Owner, Southampton Storage Co.

While self-storage facilities have been a familiar sight in the United States since the 1960s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that they started to appear in the United Kingdom. In the U.K. there are just under 1,000 major storage locations compared to more than 50,000 in the U.S. While the U.K. number might seem small, it is still larger than the number of facilities in the rest of Europe put together and has shown continual year-on-year growth.

Given those facts, I thought it would be interesting to compare the U.K. market (where I am based) with the U.S. sector. The U.S. obviously has a much larger population than the U.K., but even so, it still makes for a fascinating comparison. The information used in this article was researched by the digital team at the Southampton Storage Co. and comes from the “The Self Storage Association UK Annual Survey 2013” produced by the Self Storage Association of the United Kingdom and an online Fact Sheet produced by the U.S. national Self Storage Association. The table below provides some interesting side-by-side comparisons.

A Comparison Between U.S. and U.K. Self-Storage Markets*** 

Unlike most other business sectors in the U.K., self-storage is one market that has bucked recent industry trends. It continues to grow and has not shown any signs of slowing despite the recent economic downturn.

The sustained growth is mostly attributed to the emergence of multi-site operators as well as small companies that have moved into the sector. From a social perspective, the emergence of storage facilities since the 1990s has been fueled by people moving into new residences (particularly those downsizing due to the recession), an increase in divorce statistics, and more people reaching retirement age and moving to smaller properties.

John Gerrard is the director and owner of the Southampton Storage Co. Based in Southampton, England, the company offers competitively priced storage units and facilities within easy reach of major transportation networks. John can be reached via Google+.

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