Behind many of the padlocked corrugated iron doors of self-storage units where people store their furniture and nick-knacks, there is also a growing number of self-storage units playing host to a wide range of small businesses.
They’re attracted by the flexibility, the short-notice periods and low overheads that characterise the rough and ready space offered by the self-storage industry.
“For Businesses it’s a flexible way they can store their goods and materials”
Hiren Patel, the boss of e-commerce gift company Sent 4 U, runs one such small firm, and he’s exhausted.
In the run-up to Christmas his team is parceling up 12,000 items a day – toys, party goods, diaries, cards and his best-selling Santa outfits – and sending them all around the world.
it’s a round-the-clock operation, and he employs 20 staff to help him keep up with the festive rush. For a seasonal business such as his, the self-storage units are ideal. “It gives you choice, if the business isn’t performing you can give one month’s notice and move on, or you can reduce your space so it gives you nice flexibility.”