„Stokado sees significant growth potential for self storage in Poland”
The team at Stokado Self Storage, in Wroclaw, are a good example of the new breed of entrepreneurs, keen to enter into the Polish self self storage industry as one of its pioneers. Stokado established ‘Stage 1’ of their first facility project, a warehouse with 600 square metres of floor space and a further 360 square metres of external drive-up units, in October 2013. From the beginning their intention was always envisaged as a stage by stage project.
Subject to the performance of ‘Stage 1’, opportunities are already available to develop further stages since the potential gross space, at the Wroclaw facility, is around 2000 square metres.
The facility is housed in a renovated building and despite having only been opened for less than 6 months (at the time of preparing this article) an occupancy level of 30% has already been achieved. The net-lettable area of the ‘Stage 1’ warehouse is 450 square metres with 84 internal units all on the ground floor. The outside area has been partially dedicated to over 36 larger container units, which are mostly popular with business customers.
The internal units range from just below 1m2 to 26m2 giving an average unit size of 5m2 including 9 lockers. External units have sizes ranging from 7.5m2 to 15m2.
The occupation of the remainder of the ground floor and the entire 2nd floor will then follow in later stages. According to preliminary plans, the additional stages will house ‘smaller’ units thereby gradually bringing the average unit size lower.
The warehouse is heated, well-ventilated – temperature and humidity being carefully monitored in order to maintain good conditions for their clients’ goods – and the entire facility is equipped with access control, a burglary alarm system, fire detection and CCTV. Access in general is 24/7 with office hours being 09.00h to 18.00h. Physical on-site security is also employed. Being on part of a larger complex means that the rental of small office space and larger warehousing space can be offered albeit this is separated from the core business of Stokado Self Storage.
Whilst it is still ‘early days’, the present occupancy levels are approximately 50/50 between private and business users.
Not surprisingly, for any new enterprise, Stokado have been active with marketing: the building is located alongside a busy road and has an eye-catching signage. In addition to promotional work online, including Google and social media, a use has been made of local press, local internet portals and billboards in the city.
As Stokado work to increase ‘self storage awareness’, they have managed some joint promotions via other businesses, for example, by including vouchers distributed in sales outlets. They are also very keen to participate in community events, including supporting various charitable initiatives.
Stokado are of the opinion that there is a significant growth-potential for self storage in Poland in the coming years. Being one of the pioneers of the industry in Poland is enabling them to focus on marketing efforts, building a good rapport with both existing and potential clients, and increasing awareness of the ‘self storage’ concept and the advantages of renting self storage space to both private and business customers – so as to give them a good, firm foothold for further future development in the marketplace.
A 3-4 year vision sees facilities being launched in the largest cities in Poland. The owners of Stokado are eager to build on this trend and open further locations in the years to come.