Self storage firm invests £5m in new site

A Yorkshire self-storage specialist has taken over a retail park, opening the doors on its fifth self-storage centre following a £5m investment.

McCarthy’s Storage World has purchased Phoenix Retail Park, which is also home to furniture store DFS, converting an empty retail unit into 30,000 sq ft of storage space. This marks the firm’s second opening since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, as it reports that demand has remained strong.

The premises now occupied by McCarthy’s Storage World had previously been let to Dixons Car Phone Warehouse, before becoming vacant. The deal also means DFS, which remains open and trading, will become a tenant of the family run, McCarthy’s .

Mike McCarthy, managing director of McCarthy’s Storage World, said: “Certainly when it came to business planning, I don’t think a pandemic was something any of us had in mind. Plans were well in place with our new facilities in York and Huddersfield when Covid-19 first hit, but actually we’ve found demand has remained very strong.

Explaining the demand McCarthy highlighted that buoyant property market stating: “we’re assisting people with their storage needs in relation to moving house”, but that they’ve also seen demand for people needing storage while they undertake renovations or large DIY projects. In the corporate world, McCarthy cited that many businesses are downsizing their traditional offices as they look to work remotely are looking to storage, while elsewhere “Pick and Pack operations and online retailers [are] using self-storage facilities.”

Rennie Schafer, chief executive of the Self Storage Association UK, added: “McCarthy’s is one of the first storage companies, certainly in the North, to convert existing space on a retail park into self storage. I think this is something we will see more of, as it’s an ideal use for a large, vacant retail unit. Self Storage is a very steady and stable industry, so you’d be less likely to see storage centers closing after a few months, leaving a property vacant once again. Self storage is still quite a new industry with limited public awareness, our research shows only half of the population have a good knowledge of what self storage is, so having stores somewhere so accessible as retail parks, where people can easily drop in and ask questions, is a very positive step forward.”

Close