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  • Writer's pictureRyan McKenna

How Storage For Personal Junk Became a $38 Billion Industry

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Written by Bill Moist

Introduction…In spite of recessions and demographic changes, few commercial buildings have boomed like self-storage. Over the last 50 years, malls, starter homes, luxury commercial space once safe and steady investments have struggled at times, but the self storage industry has remained strong.

Americans usage…One in 11 Americans pays an average of $91 per month to use self-storage. They have found a place for the material overflow of the American dream.

The United States enjoys 58,000 self-storage facilities with 2.31 billion square feet of rental space.

The self-storage industry grossed $32.7 billion in 2016. Storage beats Hollywood box office gross by 300%. Not bad for an unexciting storage.

It’s demographics…The 30 year boom in storage tracks the larger demographics. Americans are relocating from the Midwest and Northeast to the Sunbelt cities needing to store old gear.

The millennials moving to crowded city centers need extra space to store personal items.

Finally, a wave of boomers are downsizing and need a place to store lifetime accumulated memories.

Conclusion…Once renters sign up they become captive audiences. Once their stuff is out of the house, apartment or office, it is much easier to continue charging a credit card than sorting and moving that precious stuff. And best of all, a rental increase of a few dollars won’t cause a move either.


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