Here’s Just How Big the Self Storage Is

Jon Fesmire | Apr 19, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

The self storage industry is enormous.

Combine the number of Starbucks, McDonalds, and Walmart locations and you’ll fall short of the number of self storage locations nationwide.

And the self storage industry is expected to continue to grow.

Storage facilities have been upgrading their look and their amenities. Many now have units with climate control, have professional exterminators come out every month to prevent pest infestations, sell storage supplies on-site, provide a free truck rental for new tenants, and have top-tier security.

Here are some facts concerning the size and growth of the self storage industry.

Number of Facilities

According to the 2021 Self-Storage Almanac, there are approximately 49,233 self storage facilities in the U.S. Mordor Intelligence reports that there are over 2.3 billion square feet of self storage space in the U.S. and that the industry has seen an annual growth rate of.7.7% since 2012.

To put that into perspective, let’s compare the number of self storage facilities to other businesses you pass by every day.

It seems like there’s a Starbucks on every corner. In fact, we know of places where there are multiple Starbucks stores in the same business center. According to Restaurant Business, Starbucks had 14,687 cafes in 2018.

Statista reports that Walmart, one of the largest retail chains, has 4,769 U.S. stores. Even McDonalds falls behind the self storage industry with the sheer number of storage sites. The burger chain has 18,332 restaurants across the U.S., according to Finances Online.

Continued Growth

Forbes says that the value of the U.S. self storage market was $87.65 billion in 2019. They predict it will reach $115.62 billion by 2025.

What About Recessions and COVID?

People and businesses struggle through recessions. The self storage industry, however, appears to be recession-proof, or at least recession-resistant. Despite the Great Recession that began in 2008, and the COVID recession, our industry continues to thrive.

Why is this? It turns out that in good times, people need self storage. Businesses grow, people purchase more goods in our consumer culture, and renting a storage space to keep things like sales overstock, work equipment, off-season clothing, and sports equipment, and stuff we just want to keep safe makes sense. So, during good times, the self storage industry grows.

During lean times, businesses downsize and families move into smaller homes to save on rent. Companies need space to store displays, tables, inventory, and other items they’ll need when the economy improves and they can grow again, and self storage fills that need.

Individuals and families need somewhere to store things that they no longer have room for at home. It may seem silly, basically trading commercial and residential space for storage space. However, per square foot, storage space rents for significantly less, so this allows people to save money.

Whether you plan to rent a storage unit for your business or for personal use, or you’re just curious about this successful sector of the real estate market, we hope you learned something interesting here.