Copywriter: Sam Jones, PR Assistant, YouCom Media
City Box self-storage had been doing very well in the Netherlands. In 2013 the YouCom Marketing Handbook series examined the self-storage market finding City Box had increased from 10 properties to 23 properties in the previous 7 years. At that time, they were number three in a competitive market behind Kubus self-storage with 29 outlets and Shurgard Self-Storage with 40 stores.
However, Shurgard is an international brand with high ambitions. Owned by U.S. REIT Public Storage, Shurgard has just completed a takeover of the City Box self-storage portfolio almost solely owned by the Immofinanz Group.
Immofinanz was founded in 1990 with nearly 500 properties valued at close to €7 billion, listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Immofinanz has now reduced their holdings outside of their core markets to just over 1 percent.
“This sale represents a further strategic step to adjust and optimize our portfolio and concentrate on our core markets in Central and Eastern Europe” said Oliver Schumy, CEO of Immofinanz.
“Shurgard self-storage just goes from strength to strength.” said Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct. “In one action they have cemented their position in the expanding Netherlands market whilst taking out their rival. I have no doubt that the superior customer service and positive staff experience at Shurgard will make the newly acquired stores even better for customers. We were so very pleased they chose to switch agencies in 2013 to become our client and have involved us in their EU directory advertising.”
Shurgard now own 63 stores in the Netherlands, an increase of 153 percent. Their European portfolio now totals 213 stores having also just opened a store in Chingford, UK with another UK store opening soon. This totals approximately 10 million rentable square feet. Add Public Storage’s 2,258 stores across 38 states in the US and you now have a conglomerate of over 2,470 self-storage outlets.*
City Box had 82 employees and claim to always have two members of staff at each site. They open seven days a week but without 24 hour access (hours are 06:00-23:00). City Box promoted themselves as a ‘friendly storage company’ that has hot and cold drinks available to customers.
The purchase of City Box, gives Shurgard access to the northern regions of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. Overijssel is a more competitive region but one Shurgard weren’t strong in prior to taking over City Box. Towards the south west of the country, City Box also gives Shurgard access to the coastal region Zeeland.
City Box promote storage for motorcycles and mopeds (popular in Netherlands) with a trickle-charge facility (important for storage). City Box are the most active for online marketing of all Netherlands storage companies. If unmatched, they would have gained more market share and negatively affected occupancy rates of their competitors. Shurgard decided it was best to buy them. Problem solved.
* YouCom Direct only publicise client news once it is made available to the general public via the clients own website. The knowledge clients share with us for our media plans and for us to advise on new launch advertising is kept strictly confidential.
Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.
REIT – Real estate investment trust
YouCom Direct News Article, July 2015, London, ‘Shurgard takeover’.