U Hold The Key, which operates 11 container-based self-storage facilities in Northeast England, has partnered with franchise consultancy Lime Licensing Group to expand its footprint across the United Kingdom through franchisees. A 15 percent increase in physical occupancy last year, attributed to pandemic impact, quickened the company’s plan to roll out a franchise model, according to the source.
Company officials believe the brand is positioned to experience national recognition similar to that of its parent entity, the Parsons Containers Group of Companies. “Parsons already operates on a national basis with container sales, and we know that the growth in demand for self-storage we’ve experienced here [in the Northeast] is replicated elsewhere,” CEO Ean Parsons told the source. “Taking the franchise approach to expanding the U Hold The Key brand will attract committed, ambitious entrepreneurs. That’s who we want to work with because it reflects the history of the Parsons Containers Group, and the reasons why the business has succeeded.”
“We spent many months researching the market before deciding to launch U Hold The Key as a franchise, and we’re very confident about its potential,” added Richard Pakey, regional director for Lime. “I think that this will be a unique offer in franchising and will deliver one of the very best long-term returns on investment. We’ve structured the model so that it offers great flexibility, whether a franchisee wants a full- or part-time opportunity and plans to be hands-on or hands-off.”
Founded in 2001, U Hold The Key offers 1,500 storage containers that are accessible 24 hours a day. It has two corporate sites under development that are expected to open this year.
Launched in 2000, Parsons is an independent, privately owned business that supplies shipping containers. Additional brands under the Parsons umbrella include ContainerContainer and Containers-Now.