SINGAPORE: Self-storage providers are experiencing a boom in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some are already expanding their activities in Singapore.
Inquiries and occupancy rates for these spaces, which people and companies rent to store personal items or inventory, have skyrocketed, five vendors told CNA.
More and more people are realizing that they need extra space at home for remote work and new hobbies, according to providers. Demand is also increasing from companies rethinking office space requirements or stocking up on goods to protect themselves from supply chain disruptions.
However, demand plummeted during the “breaker” in Singapore last year. Lock + Store executive director Helen Ng said inquiries fell 90 percent between April and June last year.
But shortly after the country left the lockdown, things picked up again. Inquiries from private individuals have increased by 30 percent and from companies by 20 percent – a third of those individuals and half of these companies ended up using storage space, Ms. Ng said.
Lock + Store, with 12 locations across Singapore, has expanded capacity in three popular locations.
StorHub Self Storage, which was the first of its kind in 2003, said its revenue has grown more than 35 percent since early 2020, along with a 110 percent increase in inquiries. This year two new locations opened and the number of facilities in Singapore increased to 13.
COVID-19 has “changed the rules of the game,” said Luigi La Tona, CEO of the Singapore company. “People used to see self-storage as a nice accessory. It is a must now. “
Work + Store, which opened its tenth warehouse here in August, said occupancy by individuals and businesses has increased 10 and 50 percent, respectively, compared to the days leading up to the pandemic.
At Extra Space Asia, inquiries and usage have increased by around 30 to 40 percent since the beginning of last year, with demand from companies being “slightly higher”. Overall occupancy at its 11 locations is now 93 percent, up from 87 percent in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The pandemic has not affected our business as storage is vital to many, be it for personal or business use, although the reasons for the need for storage have changed slightly,” said CEO Kenneth Worsdale.