Back in February this year we reported on the US based start up – Clutter, as it reported a $200m investment from Soft Bank.
We said that Clutter provides storage and transportation, including the collection and delivery of a customers’ items, all assisted by the use of intelligent software. Unlike conventional self-storage, Clutter provide the storage based on a bar code system so instead of a set storage unit, the clients items might be spread across aisles and shelves and they are even working on software that would allow the actual storage to be split across various sites, never more than 48 hours away, making full use of underutilised facilities and helping to keep prices down.
Now Clutter are back in the news having just paid an undisclosed sum for rival operation – Omni who are based in the San Francisco Bay area of the US. Omni started out in the same field but have now branched into hiring out the goods they store…with the storers permission of course!
This is the area they will now focus their attention on, claiming that the cost of hiring some items is cheaper than using Amazon, for example a ‘Snapchat dancing hot dog costume’ (whatever that is!) at $20 per day instead of buying it for $80. In addition anything rented out is covered by S $2,000 insurance policy.
In the USA the estimated size of the self-store industry is around 47,500 sites! Let’s put that into some sort of perspective….in the US McDonalds have 14,456 sites and Starbucks 7,880! In the UK, the SSA (Self-Storage Association) estimates a market size of 1,500 sites. If these figures are correct then experimentation is easier in the states than in the UK. So we would say that whilst we live in a fast changing world, you shouldn’t be too quick to follow the market in the states!