The Self Storage Association has published its 15th Annual Industry Report, and the insightful results indicate another strong year for the UK self storage industry!

The report consists of data collected from current SSA members during the 2021 calendar year, with 25% of self storage facilities in the country completing the survey, representing 40% of all available storage space – a strong sample size. For the 7th year it has been produced in conjunction with Cushman & Wakefield, whom have extensive experience in valuing self storage properties globally and the as well as the broader property market.

The report covers all viewpoints, including data from operators, customers and the general public. For all industry members, current or new, it’s a great tool to understand the industry, explore the latest trends, and use it as a discussion between other members so operators can further understand their customers.

The SSA-UK also provides an online dashboard that examines how the industry has recently performed, and users can categorize the data based on geography and other relevant demographics.

Throughout the report, there are themes of continued growth and performance in the self storage industry whilst considering the COVID-19 Pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

We’ve compiled a list of key factors from the report – whether you’re new to the industry or not, these points are definitely worth noting.

Kuboid’s key points:

  • self storage continues to perform well and draw strong consumer demand. The industry is outpacing other asset classes and has attracted a broad base of investors.
  • Based on this definition it is estimated that there are approximately 2,050 self storage stores in the UK of which 621 are predominantly container based storage. There is around 52 million square feet of self storage in the UK.
  • The industry has continued to experience notable growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Development in rural locations and secondary cities is continuing, with more unstaffed sites opening that rely on customers signing up online or, managers attending the sites from other locations.
  • The average occupancy is 86.2% on mature stores.
  • In 2021, the churn rate dropped significantly from pre-pandemic levels of 118% to 76%, indicating that more people are becoming long-term self storage users and are recognising the industry’s value.
  • Data from the SSA survey does indicate that usage, awareness and understanding of the services provided in the industry is slowly increasing.
  • The report clearly shows that a strong online presence is a way to achieve brand awareness, with over 73% of those surveyed saying they would turn to the internet to search to find self storage in their local area.
  • Retail continues to lead the way for those using self storage for business purposes, with 19% of business users coming from this sector. Other major drivers of business customers are professional services at 14%, and the IT sector has jumped from historical levels of 1% to 5%.
  • Self storage is a location-based business, and travel time to a unit can influence which facility a customer chooses. Data from the survey shows that 75% of people travel 20 minutes or less to their storage unit.
  • Sustainability – over the last few years there has been an increased focus on how the self storage industry can become more environmentally sustainable.

Find out more here: Download full report
Source: Self Storage Association