U Hold the Key Experiences Surge in Demand for Self-storage Units
Posted on the 28 October 2020
Leading North East self-storage company U Hold The Key has seen a sharp increase in demand for self-storage in 2020, as people adjust to new circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business has recorded a 15% increase in occupied storage units compared to the same time last year, across its 10 regional sites, with a sharp rise in enquiries and bookings since April.
U Hold The Key is one of the UK’s leading self-storage firms, and is a division of the Parsons Containers Group. The company has around 1,500 container stores, offering secure 24/7 access for customers, on sites throughout the North East, in Mainsforth (near Ferryhill), Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, A19 (under the Tees flyover), on the A66 near Darlington, Sunderland, Birtley, Newcastle upon Tyne and Alnwick.
U Hold The Key currently has 1,118 stores occupied, compared with 976 at this time last year, and has seen its largest self-storage sites in Newcastle, Sunderland and Birtley completely full for periods over the last six months. The business attributes the surge in demand to a wide range of factors that have been affecting businesses and individuals during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There have been changes to patterns in the housing market, with moves taking longer to complete and the overall traditional peak house-moving season lasting longer, both of which have led to more need for self-storage. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the number of businesses requiring extra temporary storage space. Reasons for this have included the need to store furniture to allow for social distancing in offices while some staff work from home. Linked to this, new domestic customers have booked self-storage in order to declutter their homes and create suitable working space. Other extra demand has come from people relocating from the South to the North East and needing temporary storage, and stores have also been booked on all sites for motorbikes, as riders have needed a secure location while competitions and events have been cancelled.
Damien Murphy, managing director of the Parsons Containers Group, said: “As is the case for all businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has brought its challenges for the Parsons Group, but the strong growth we have experienced in storage unit rentals throughout lockdown and beyond has been a silver lining. We have continued to reach significant milestones, first with 1,000 stores occupied and then quickly rising to 1,100, and this upward trend does not appear to be slowing.
“Thankfully, we had already been planning for self-storage growth and have been building capacity across our extensive network of sites throughout the region. We have invested in additional stores across a wide range of sizes to meet demand and in response to COVID, we have also introduced a fully contactless system that allows customers to book and access their storage containers without any face to face contact.”
U Hold The Key has storage containers available to support a variety of commercial and domestic needs, ranging from 6ft by 4ft to 40ft by 8ft. The company recently introduced a new 5ft container on a number of its sites to increase the storage capacity options available for customers - this will also be made available elsewhere as demand requires.