The Self-Storage Association UK Annual Industry Report 2021

08th June 2021

Image from Cushman Wakefield

The Self-Storage Association UK Annual Industry Report for 2021 has been released containing data collected from self-store tenants, industry operators and the general public.

The SSA UK Annual report is the most comprehensive look at the self-store industry. This year’s edition was especially interesting since it covered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the industry shifted throughout the course of the lockdowns.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at some of the key statistics and takeaways from the report, but you can download the full report right here>.


On the 23rd of March 2020, the UK began its first official lockdown as a direct result of the increasing danger posed to human life by the COVID-19 pandemic. This necessitated that all non-essential retail and business premises were expected to close for the foreseeable future, while the public was required to stay indoors except for essential travel.

During this period, self-storage was regarded as an arm of the logistics chain and therefore an essential service, which was allowed to remain open under specific conditions.

The industry is considered key for the smooth operation of both the food and healthcare industries, along with many businesses that were allowed to continue to operate throughout lockdown.

Since there was minimal risk of passing on the infection through human contact, the self-store industry was largely considered as low risk.

The Report

The SSA UK has been surveying members, tenants, and the general public for almost fifteen years, and 2021 marks the 14th year of the annual industry report.

The report itself covers all sectors of the industry, and this year, as expected the pandemic has resulted in some substantial deviations from the data we may usually expect. The initial survey was also tweaked in order to include some questions and data sets that specifically dealt with the impact of the pandemic on the industry and the end customer.

The latest annual report specifically investigates a selection of data points and surveys of operators, customers, and investors on the performance of the industry and the prospects for growth in 2021 and beyond.

Key Takeaways & Statistics

The data for the 2021 report was collected between January and February of 2021 with a focus on the 2020 calendar year, and here’s what we believe to be the most significant statistics in the report:

  • The industry saw its highest levels of self-store occupancy (82%) since records back in 2004, up from 76.2% in 2019.
  • Overall turnover for the industry increased to 16% annually to £890million as we saw more home-based workers making room for offices and those on furlough decluttering.
  • Self-store spaces used by small retailers saw their biggest increase as online businesses expanded during the lockdown.
  • The UK’s average net rental rate increased to £23.94 per square foot per year.
  • Over 90% of customers stated that they were satisfied with the service they were receiving from their self-storage provider.
  • Over half of the public are aware of the self-store industry.
  • Divorced or separating couples are over twice as likely to utilise self-storage options.
  • Bereavement is the most likely reason for people to look at self-store options.
  • 29% of self-store customers are involved in a home move.
  • Home renovation projects are three times more likely to result in the use of self-storage.
  • Over 40% of self-store customers have previously used a self-storage solution.
  • Customers visiting a storefront to book their unit dropped from 33% to 25%.
  • Less than 20% of customers stated that their usage or need for self-storage would change throughout the worst of the pandemic.

The United Kingdom makes up over 40% of the greater European self-store market and has the most storage per person of any other country in Europe.

The report concludes that it estimates that there are now a little less than 2,000 self-storage premises in the UK, which are operated by 998 different brands. This equates to 50.5 million square foot of total storage space or 0.74 square feet per head.

The Store Log Flog App

Having witnessed first-hand the increasing requirement for self-storage solutions in the UK, self-store entrepreneur Dominic Willson devised the Store Log Flog app to offer a more hands-on service to self-store tenants and storage yard owners alike.

The Store Log Flog app is now available to download for free from Google Play or the Apple Store.

If you’d like a free, no-obligation quote go to the home page and press "Arrange a FREE consultation” or you’d like to learn more about Store Log Flog, why not contact us today?

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