Self Storage Matches McDonald's

29/04/2010

The UK is now home to as many self storage facilities as it is McDonald’s restaurants, according to research undertaken by comparison website Storage.co.uk.

This found that there are 1189 business operating self storage facilities in the UK, compared to almost exactly 1200 branches of the popular restaurant chain. The number of storage locations was discovered by researchers manually searching through all their websites and documenting how many they found.

The fact that not all self storage companies have a website means their total number is likely to be even higher. Indeed, as the number of McDonald’s restaurants is definite they probably outnumber them.

Whilst it may not have the immediate appeal of burgers and fries, self storage has developed spectacularly in the UK during the last twenty years, fuelled by a number of social phenomena. These include the decreasing amount of storage space found inside modern houses, high divorce rates and the high number of consumer goods people now buy.

It is also used by businesses to store excess files, equipment and stock. The type of self storage these companies provide involves storing people’s goods accessibly in either outdoor metal shipping containers, or an indoor warehouse that’s been divided into units. Companies that provide only house removals storage were not included.  

The industry body for British self storage, the SSA UK, had previously estimated that only 800 self storage facilities existed across the country. Most of the nearly 400 additional ones this research has uncovered are small-scale container storage firms who do not belong to it, although there are a small number of independent warehouse firms that don’t either.

The SSA also thinks that an average storage unit is 80 sq ft in area, and an average independent firm will have 311 of them. If these figures are correct then the extra companies discovered by this research should add over nine and half million square feet to the total amount of rentable storage space in Britain.

This puts that total at about 40 million square feet, or 0.66 sq ft per person. These figures are considerably higher than previous estimates of the industry’s rentable space.

Storage.co.ukis a new independent advice website for people interested in renting self storage space. It provides a storage centre finder, how-to guide, videos and blogs covering all aspects of renting storage space. 

The Self Storage Blog