UK Self Storage More Competitive Than Previously Thought

08/06/2010

The UK self storage sector is considerably more competitive than was previously thought, according to research by comparison website Storage.co.uk.

This was measured in two ways. Firstly, the number of locations owned by each storage company was assessed to give some basic figures for how diverse ownership is within the sector.

Doing so revealed that the UK’s 1196 storage centres are operated by 587 different companies, meaning the average one has just 2 sites. Further analysis of these figures revealed that 460 self storage firms – 80% of the total – are run on a single-site basis.

This means the UK industry is catching up with the US, as about 90% of American self storage companies only own one site.

The number of British firms in this position had previously been underestimated, until Storage.co.uk discovered nearly 400 additional ones when researching how many storage centres there are in the country.

Storage.co.uk have produced what they believe is the only full database of UK storage facilities, enabling them to analyse how competitive the industry is

The upshot is that the UK’s large self storage firms – Safestore, Big Yellow and Access, in particular – have less of the market than was previously thought. Safestore, the company with the most sites, owns just 8.53% of the national total.

The second method used to look at this involved measuring industry concentration with the Herfindahl Index. This is a mathematical formula used by regulatory authorities in the UK and USA which involves adding each company’s squared market share together to produce a number between 0 and 1.

The lower this number is the less concentrated the industry being measured will be. The UK self storage industry has a Herfindhal Index score of 0.08, again demonstrating a very low level of concentration with many small firms competing for market share.

For this test market share was measured using the percentage of the total number of self storage centres that each company owns.

However, this level of completion isn’t reflected in pricing, as very few companies advertise their prices to customers online.

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

The Self Storage Blog