Operators of storage unit Bristol including other self-storage operators in the United Kingdom are expecting their profits to further increase due to new store openings and increasing customer awareness. This was the result of a survey made by global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield in conjunction with Self-Storage Association of UK. 73 separate companies covering at least 433 self-storage facilities representing more than 40% of UK’s self-storage sites and over 60% of total storage space participated in the survey.
During the economic downturn, there were a limited number of new store openings but with the improving economy, the self-storage industry has begun to grow, expanding by at least 1.3 million square feet in 2014. According to SSA UK there are now approximately 1,022 self-storage sites in the UK of which 159 supply container storage only. There was a 13% increase in the number of self-storage if compared to 2013 and almost half of the new sites that opened in 2014 had container storage.
Operators are optimistic about the outlook for 2015 because not one of the survey respondents reported a drop in profitability. In fact, nearly 80% expected improved profitability. Today, there is approximately 35.7 million square feet of storage space in the UK which equates to an average of 0.56 square feet of storage space per person in the UK.
Average rental rate also showed an increase over the year’s 7.1% to £21 per square feet per annum. This matches the rental rate in December 2011 before the addition of VAT to the rental revenues. Total turnover in the industry in 2014 was about £402 million among approximately 402 operators. These firms employed about 2,100 fulltime staff.
According to the survey, there was an overall improvement in with the number of people who have never heard of the product dropping from 23% to 15%. However, 55% of consumers (62% in 2014) still have limited or no knowledge at all about storage units. If the level of awareness would improve the demand levels for storage units are expected to further increase. Potential for improvement is hard to quantify because it is often the need for storage space that drives awareness.