Local Knowledge Key as Yorkshire Self Storage Company Expands
Yorkshire is the UK’s most social media-savvy county, but residents are not surfing the net in search of love, but rather for the best self storage deal. The county is full of love birds, it seems, with more married people feathering their nest in self storage than anywhere else in the country, according to the Self Storage Association UK’s latest nationwide survey.
One Yorkshire company taking advantage of this trend is McCarthy’s Storage World. The removals company diversified into self storage more than a decade ago and is now enjoying its share of the £750 million UK market.
Mike McCarthy (pictured above), managing director says: “It is a bit of a running joke that Yorkshire people have tight pockets, but it’s not true – we are just canny with our cash. It’s all about getting the best value for money, and the internet is often the quickest way to compare what is on offer and what it is likely to cost. Folks from Yorkshire are famously family-oriented, so I am not surprised that self storage usage is high amongst couples and families in the region.
“Eight out of ten of all our enquiries come into the business via the web and of these, at least half come via mobile devices. Customers are increasingly demanding a fast turnaround and online reputations are critical in our industry to develop trust with our customers.”
“Extensive community relations programme”
Currently developing the company’s first new build storage centre in a soon to be announced location in North Yorkshire, and in negotiations to acquire another new site, McCarthy’s has three existing facilities in Harrogate, Wakefield, and Leeds. With ambitious plans for growth in place, Mike is conscious of the challenging competition, particularly from big names with large internet advertising budgets, but is optimistic about the company’s future.
He says: “Being a local business, we may not have the size of advertising budget of our larger competitors, but we can work smartly in our local communities, creating initiatives to make a real difference. This year, for example, to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we have an extensive community relations programme to maximise our regional exposure. This includes sponsoring events like the Ilkley Carnival and Kirkstall Festival, and working with a number of local charities such as St Gemma’s Hospice.”
Rennie Schafer, chief executive of the Self Storage Association UK comments: “McCarthy’s experience is typical of the industry as a whole. Today, more and more of us turn to the internet to simplify and speed up all manner of transactions. In keeping with this trend, self storage providers are recognising the benefits of automation, allowing customers to make enquiries, purchase, and manage their self storage digitally. However, there will never be a substitute for local knowledge and the personal touch. The web may be the primary driver for business acquisition, but it is the customer experience that dictates business retention.”