The Siren Song of Self-Storage

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

August 21, 2008

2 Min Read
The Siren Song of Self-Storage

Over the past few months, I’ve come across several news items about people in completely different businesses adding self-storage. These bits of news are small but worth noting. Each of the newcomers to the industry probably had other investment opportunities. They could have put their money in stocks in Exxon Mobile or British Petroleum (score!), gold bullion, or snapped up distressed real estate at rock-bottom prices. But either because it was a logical addition to an existing business or because they saw the excellent potential in self-storage, they chose this industry.

From the National Farmer's Union newsletter in England we received an article about several farmers who are getting together to convert unused outbuildings into modern self-storage facilities. The idea started with dairy farmer Martin Bazeley in 2003. It has now expanded to include other farmers. They are even offering to franchise.

This article in the Isle of Wight County Press tells about  former pig farmers, Chris and Jan Clarke who saw a need for self-storage in Chillerton on the Isle of Wight off the southeast coast of England. They took an unused barn and turned it into self-storage complete with 24-hour access, the latest CCTV equipment and security systems.

ISS ran this item about Paul Clark, founder of Clarks Direct in Stratton Strawless, Norwich, England, who is adding self-storage to save his 10-year-old delivery and storage operation. The haulier recently invested £250,000 in a 7,500-square-meter addition to its paper-storage warehouse, and two 10,000-square-meter warehouses will be added in the future. 

Val Evans, Malcolm Everard and Mark Wilson made the news when they formed a partnership to open Ewestore Self Storage, an 8,000-square-foot self-storage facility serving the Harrogate and Ripon, England, district. The trio also runs A&G Removals that has been operating since 1998. The founders believe they are serving a niche not provided by any other company in this area

Travel across the Irish Sea to Dublin where the Sunday Business Post ran an article about the O’Meara family, owners of O’Meara Camping Ireland Ltd., has invested more than $14.7 million in Elephant Self-Storage. The facility offers 800 units ranging from 10 square feet to 1,000 square feet.

I’m not talking about the mega-storage corporations here, or even large, well-known companies. I’m talking about individuals. The exciting thing about these newcomers to our industry is that each is in a country other than the United States. Proof the industry not only is thriving overseas but attracting the attention of unexpected entrepreneurs.

Know of any other success stories like these? Leave a comment below.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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