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Convenience, Additional Space Drive Self-Storage Industry Growth in China


The self-storage industry in China continues to flourish as residents and business owners realize the benefits and convenience of storing their personal and commercial goods.

While Chinese residents are renting storage to free up space in their homes, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of climate-controlled units to store precious items such as cosmetics, paintings and brand-name bags.

"Unlike a huge warehouse, we don't control the content of the storage, but we don't accept dangerous objects such as firecrackers," Chen Yu told the source. Yu is the executive customer manager of Youyou Space, a 3,000-square-meter, 24-hour self-storage facility in Shanghai's Wujiaochang area of the Yangpu district.

Xie Fang, who stores high-end cosmetics at Youyou, is not only a fan of the facility’s climate-control units, but also appreciates that her belongings are available to her at any hour of the day. The 24-hour video surveillance also ensures her belongings are safe. At Youyou, self-storage unit sizes range from 0.7 to 20 cubic meters, with the cost varying from several hundred yuan to more than 1,000 yuan ($158.76) per month.

Yu told the source self-storage rentals tend to pick up in the winter and spring as residents prepare for the Chinese New Year. During this time, Yu's facility has about 30 percent to 40 percent of his 1,000 units rented. The occupancy rate is 10 percent to 20 percent during the low season. Many tenants are either white-collar or foreigners, Yu said.

Easy Storage, a self-storage company established in 2011 in Shanghai, rents spaces for about 200 yuan ($31.75) per cubic meter. The most popular unit is the 2-cubic meter, Lei Yongsheng, a member of Easy Storage's promotional staff, told the source. Easy Storage established four stores within six months of the first facility opening and recently added space for wine storage.

According to the Easy Storage website, there are no conditions for development of self-storage in China, except for the cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

Louis Hill, a representative of Drivers Jonas Deloitte, a chartered surveyor that assists the U.K. Self Storage Association in preparing its annual report, told the source he’s excited about the industry’s growth in China. "There's likely to be a great future for self-storage storage in China because it gives great lifestyle, flexibility and convenience," Hill said.

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