With self-storage being so popular and continuously growing, there’s some speculation on how this came to be, and why, as a population, the need for self-storage facilities continues to increase. Who thought of this brilliant concept? It’s been said that self-storage was started in the 60’s in the state of Texas, but even that concept had to come from somewhere. Military installations have been using storage bunkers for years but it wasn’t thought of as a commercial idea until decades later. There are also reports of storage being available to the public in China long before we even thought about it.
The very first public storage unit was opened in 1972 in California and has evolved into a thriving business generating millions of dollars in income, and also using billions of square feet space. Interestingly enough, self-storage started primarily for business purposes, but somehow the shift turned toward it becoming a necessary need for the general population. Not only is it convenient for renters and students, but homeowners have a tremendous footprint on how self-storage is used. You would be very surprised to know that homeowners who have a two-car garage still somehow find the need to have an additional self-storage facility.
Self-storage has also gained its popularity from entrepreneurs who saw owning a self-storage facility as a win-win. Whether renovated or new construction, over the past 10 years, self-storage has seen a rising boom in popularity. The recession has also added to the need for self-storage units, as people have gone through foreclosures or temporary moves to make ends meet. Thankfully, these facilities were there to serve as viable alternatives to keeping their belongings intact.
The self-storage industry continues to grow. In the United States alone, over $22 billion in annual revenues were generated in 2012. This industry has been dubbed “recession resistant” and continues to reflect positive gains regardless of how the general economy is doing. As the industry continues to expand the uses of self-storage facilities and offer more amenities that cater to the general public, there is a definite uptick in market share. The self-storage industry can now be considered a major contender in retail and personal service operations.
As the need grows, so does the demand worldwide. Military installations, retail operations and major corporations that relocate their employees all have a definitive need for self-storage facilities that are safe, secure and can deliver the best in service. Although there are five major contenders currently within the industry, there is always room for more and for another entity to capture market share. Reflecting on how the industry has evolved, it will be interesting to see what innovations will come to the forefront and who will start a new generation of self-storage amenities.
Technology and marketing must play a huge part in transforming the way these facilities do business. Strategic thinking must be at an all-time high. One thing is for certain, the early bird catches the worm and the self-storage industry is here to stay.