A North Wales-based company at the forefront of the boom in containerised self-storage is seeing a boom in businesses using its steel shipping containers for their security, flexibility and value for money.
Lock Stock Self Storage, founded in Denbigh in 1998 by brothers Nick and Shon Powell, is now the biggest in the UK and provides almost 4 million cubic feet of storage space at 18 sites across North and Mid Wales and the border counties.
The company expects to install its 3,000th container by the end of the year and increasingly that storage is being taken by businesses who find that containers are a perfect solution if they need to scale their operations up or down.
Already Lock Stock estimate that 40 per cent of their rented space is taken by companies with that ratio rising to 60 per cent at their giant 600-container site at Llandudno Junction.
They have just added 80 containers to the site at River Lane in Saltney, a £150,000 investment which has increased the size of the storage park to 360 containers.
Nick Powell said: “Our units are ideal starting points for small and emerging businesses, or traders working from home, that cannot, or do not want to take the commitment that comes with taking on an industrial unit.
“There are no business rates or service charges and with three different sizes of units they’re ideal whether people are looking to grow or to downsize.
“Often businesses can operate from a storage unit and that is one reason we plan our sites very carefully so that our tenants can easily access their units 24/7.”
Their containers come in three sizes, 10 feet, 20 feet and 40 feet, are eight feet wide by eight feet high with capacities from 640 cubic feet to 2,560 cubic feet and all are painted a uniform dark green and housed on sites which have security fencing and lighting and 24-hour access.
Among the businesses which operate from their containers are a decking firm with a turnover of almost half a million pounds a year, a leading glazier, a gift importing company, a café, carpet fitters, joiners, a mail-order CD supplier, a mobile mechanic and plumbing and drainage specialists.
Welsh Government Economy Minister Ken Skates has paid them a visit to look at their suitability for businesses and came away impressed.
He said: “The innovative facilities are offering embryo businesses a low cost introduction from which they can grow to become prosperous operations and hopefully employers.”
James Neale, aged 49, Director of glaziers James Neale and Son, said: “We used to have a yard but people only came there to pay their bills.
“We have a compound and containers for materials and stock at Lock Stock at Tre Marl Industrial Estate in Llandudno Junction and there is 24 hour access, articulated lorries can get in here to make deliveries and the site is secure and so are the three containers we rent.
“We don’t have to pay business rates here and so it saves us about £30,000 a year.”
Lock Stock, which employs 16 staff, also operates a van hire service, Take Stock, which is often used by businesses and also now sells containers and delivers them with its own articulated lorry.
Their existing sites stretch from Holyhead on Anglesey, along the North Wales coast at Bangor, Llandudno and Rhyl, on the Dee at Flint and Chester and inland at Denbigh, Mold, Wrexham and Newtown in Powys, and at Oswestry and Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
For more information about Lock Stock go to http://www.lockstock.biz/