SpaceBox, a South Africa-based valet-storage startup launched as a division of XtraSpace Self Storage, has added service in the city of Durban and could expand internationally. “This valet-styled storage service is proving to be a success across the world in cities such as New York, London and Hong Kong, to name a few,” CEO Hjalmar Venter told the source. “International expansion should, therefore, be a goal, and the opportunities in neighboring countries seem to be a logical next step.”
The South African market has proven to be a “tough culture” for SpaceBox and other startups, Venter said, adding the company has invested in digital and offline marketing strategies to create public awareness, including e-mail campaigns, flier drops and pamphlets. “We’re testing everything. If it doesn’t work, we try something else,” he told the source. “The science comes once you’ve performed the art. The science is in the measurement. And we’re still creating awareness right now.”
Ultimately the entrepreneur believes the business model will click with young consumers. “The inevitable evolution of the storage business in the 21st century meant it would go online,” Venter said. “The younger generation live online. They’re not afraid of e-commerce. This is an industry that will grow with this generation.”
Similar to other valet-style storage operators, SpaceBox offers by-the-bin storage targeted at businesses and residents who don’t have adequate onsite storage. Items are stored in secure warehouses that are off limits to customers. The company uses an online platform that allows customers to schedule item pickup, maintain a visual catalog of stored bins, and schedule delivery of items to their home or office. Service is also available within a 30-kilometer radius of Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The company was launched as an e-commerce extension of XtraSpace, which operates 19 self-storage facilities in the South African provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. In addition to traditional self-storage space, XtraSpace locations offer business centers with flexible offices for small and medium-sized companies, meeting rooms, free Internet, and copying and fax facilities. The company also offers domestic and international courier services.
SpaceBox is not related to Spacebox Ltd., a Hong Kong-based valet-storage operator.
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