North West entrepreneurs, Mike Wilson and Andy Wood, are behind a £multi-million vision to revolutionise the self-storage industry in the region.
Launching their new SureStore brand, the two have already acquired three store locations in Bolton, Wigan, and Northwich, totalling 120,000 sq ft.
They now plan to roll out a managed storage model, which will see them acquiring and opening a total of 10 sites across the North West and the Midlands over the next 18 months.
Once operational, all 10 purpose-built facilities will deploy the latest industry cloud-based software. This will allow customers to be the first in the UK to be able to select, book and manage their storage space online.
This SureStore concept was born when the two found themselves sitting next to each other on a flight to a self storage World Expo back in 2015. The concept is only now taking off, thanks to the recent sale of Wilson’s previous brand, Smart Storage, in a deal worth £13 million, and Wood’s Storage Boost business for an undisclosed sum in 2017. The duo has now secured a new investment package from private equity funders, Seneca Partners, in order to realise their ambitious expansion plans.
Said Wilson: “We are excited to be behind this drive to take personal and business storage to the next level and are particularly gratified that it has started here in the North West. The UK market, now worth in excess of £750 million, is growing fast, by as much as 30% over the last five years. Customers are increasingly seeking accessible, secure, technologically-advanced solutions to their many and varied storage needs. Alongside state-of-the-art storage, we aim to offer a range of additional services including parcel collection and mail redirection, all of which can be accessed remotely.”
Added Wood: “We have been spurred on by the knowledge that business users in self storage are growing exponentially. At the last count there were 150,000 separate businesses using self storage in this country. Business owners are recognising that there is a flexible and cost-effective alternative to fixed leases. Naturally, they demand the most up-to-date premises and highest levels of customer service. That is where our managed storage brand strategy comes into its own.”
SureStore Bolton opened at the beginning of May and is now seeing its first space reservations and move-ins. . Plans for a 40,000 sq ft site in Wigan are currently being developed and a refurbishment of an existing building has commenced in Northwich. At the time of going to press, additional facilities in Cannock, totalling 72,000sq ft had already been added to the SureStore portfolio.
The company was advised by Napthens LLP, and banking facilities are being provided by NatWest.