Each year the Self Storage Association holds a survey to gain insight into how the industry is performing and how things might pan out for the year ahead. They collect data from existing storage facilities as well as new ones, along with surveying the general public to learn about how the storage industry is perceived.
We reported back to you last year to update you on what the 2014 report had to say, with the outlook positive but the stability of the economy being called into question, making some people reserved about the future. Last year’s survey also showed that people did not know very much about their nearest storage facilities or the concept of self storage.
Results From 2015
With the average price house going over £250,000 last year and share prices for major storage companies reaching new highs since the 2007 crash, it looks like a another year of improvement for the self storage industry.
The official overview of results seems to build upon what we learned last year about the industry and the perceptions of people in the UK. The first, and most noticeable piece of data, is that there is more square footage in London than anywhere else in the UK, but given that the population is so much greater this is understandable. Awareness of self storage is also greater in London, possibly due to the fact that space is harder to come by.
While new facilities continue to open across the country (roughly 1.3 million square feet of space added overall) and with what appears to have been steady growth in the industry, awareness levels are still low for such a present industry. Only just over half the respondents in the survey had any knowledge of the industry, while many people could not accurately guess the cost of renting a 90 sq ft unit.
Despite their still being a knowledge gap for consumers, the operators in the industry felt positive about the future, with 80% expecting improved profitability to come. One reason the gap between the prosperity of the industry and people’s awareness of it could be due to visibility. Because most facilities are in outlying areas, only 67% of respondents could name a brand or storage facility when asked – showing that a visible presence closer to the centre of a town or city might possibly boost awareness.
For 2014 the industry had a total turnover of £402 million, with the estimate of there being somewhere in the region of 1022 self storage sites across the UK. The strength of this industry in the UK is surprising when you look at how the rest of Europe fares. The UK has the most storage facility space by a long way, taking 45% of the total share. France is the next largest with 12%, showing just how well the industry has caught on here as opposed to in other parts of mainland Europe.
At Simply Storage we’ve had another great year and are looking forward to the year ahead, finishing 2015 on a high. If you’re looking for business, personal or student storage space, then contact our team today and we’ll be happy to help.