Some of you may remember the song "Mediate," released in 1991 by rock group INXS. It was notable for it's assonant simplicity: a string of rhyming words that ultimately wove a philosopho-politcal message. I think of it today as I ready through the deluge of news posts generated by the Public Storage/Shurgard mergerespecially as one word continually leaps off the screen: consolidate.
Yes, everyone's curious to see how smoothly this merger will roll out, how it will affect the stock of both entities, and how the combined company will influence the industry as a whole. But I thought this was interesting: An article in Reuters last Tuesday said, "The deal marks another self-storage acquisition as the fragmented industry consolidates to cut costs and improve cash flows," and "The deal comes amid a rapidly consolidating self-storage industry."
I'm not disputing there has been a trend toward consolidation over the past few yearsjust look at the transaction history and REIT activity during 2005 alone. But I don't view this industry as "fragemented" simply because it encourages entrepreurship and an independent spirit. Must we be overrun by conglomerates to be successful? Why is a diversity of ownership painted as a weakness rather than a benefit?
ISS Expo TV!
I've mentioned in a couple of past posts that we managed to take some video in the expo hall during our Vegas Expo a couple of weeks ago. The companies that participatedas well as many of the onlookershave since contacted me, interested to see the footage. In response, we've created a new website feature: ISS Expo TV. Check it out if ya want. And if you're interested in being interviewed at our upcoming expo in Reno, July 19-22, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of you are members of the national Self Storage Association (as is Inside Self-Storage), which means you receive a copy of the "Monday Morning Memo" each week. It's a decent e-mail newsletter containing association updates as well as some industry news highlights. I generally find it informative; but today I was interested to see what I shall call a "curious omission," and I'm wondering about it.
Last week, I gave props to industry legal expert Jeffrey Greenberger, who managed to land himself a nice feature in the Cincinnatti Enquirer (read it here). It was a fantastic plug for self-storage because it actually focused on something positive for a change. But surprisingly, there was no mention of it in today's SSA memo. I find it particularly odd because the article actually promotes the SSA's 2005 Self-Storage Demand Study. Furthermore, Jeff is an SSA member and has supported the organization as a speaker at SSA conferences.
I'm just wondering why SSA chose not to include a mention in this week's mailing? Seems like this is the kind of information the association would like to point out to its members?