Trunkroom Channel English

Storage business seen from survey results

Mr. Akira Sugawara
Yano Research Institute Ltd.


An important point is the degree of awareness among ordinary people of storage services (container storage, rental storage and trunk-room). Results indicate that about 30% of people are aware that they can rent a space away from home to store their belongings, or pay to have them kept somewhere safe.
More people with awareness of the storage business, regardless of knowledge on small differences between each service, will lead to expansion of the market.
If you have never used storage services, try them once. And if you have used them before, tell someone close to you about them (and, if possible, recommend them.)
"Mottainai" is something talked about more and more around the world, the Japanese are renowned for their high sense of the value of objects. So even the people close to us may be hoarding a surprising amount of belongings. The latest trend of sharing rental space, not just renting alone, could be a good idea.
It could lead to a whole new way of life.

™Awareness and use of storage services

We conducted a survey in July 2013 about name recognition and use of various storage services on samples of about 10,000 people in the Tokyo metropolitan area and 10,000 people in other regions.

Roughly 70% of those surveyed said they were aware of storage services (including those who only had heard of their names), but only about 30% knew about the content of the three types of service, trunk-room, rental storage spaces and container storage. At this point in the survey, we had not yet given the various service names or explained the content of the services, so we can assume that many respondents thought of storage services as meaning trunk-room. Also, the combined numbers for people who are currently using storage services and people who have used them in the past were 7.5% for trunk-room, 6.0% for rental storage, and 6.4% for container storage. (Figure 1)
The rate of respondents actually using any of the three kinds of storage services at present was under 2% (with hardly any multiple responses.) In the Tokyo metropolitan area, where storage space inside and outside homes is limited, the rate is nearly double that of other regions, but still only a little over 2%. (Figure 2)

[Figure 1 Awareness and use of storage services]



[Figure 2 Rate of use of storage services at present time]
今This survey Tokyo Other regions Total
Trunk-room 1.2% 0.7% 0.9%
Rental storage 0.6% 0.3% 0.5%
Container storage 0.6% 0.5% 0.5%


What the survey results show is that for all types of storage services, people said they had heard of being able to rent storage but did not know the difference between services. With advertising along roadsides etc. for storage spaces increasing as the number of businesses rises, it is becoming more widely known that storage spaces can be rented. In terms of the rate of use, things are still at the development stage although we can see a firm grip on a niche demand. But the differences between storage services, indeed the fact that there are different types of storage services, have not got through to people on the user side.

Awareness of content of various storage services

(1) Awareness of content of trunk-room services
We checked all samples’ awareness of the content of the various services particular to trunk-room, regardless of whether people knew of or had used trunk-room.
Most people answered that they did not know the detailed content of services. Less than half were aware that trunk-room are a service of taking care of belongings.

[Figure 3 Awareness of content of trunk-room services]



(1) Awareness of content of trunk-room services
We checked all samples’ awareness of the content of the various services particular to rental storage spaces, regardless of whether people knew of or had used rental storage spaces.
As with trunk-room, most people answered that they did not know the detailed content of services. Awareness both that they rent out storage spaces and that belongings are the responsibility of the user reached 30%, but awareness of the security or excellent quality control of services was low at less than 20%.

[Figure 4 Awareness of content of rental storage space services]



(3) Awareness of content of container storage services
We checked all respondents’ awareness of the content of the various services particular to container storage, regardless of whether they knew of or had used container storage.
As with trunk-room and rental storage spaces, most people answered that they did not know the detailed content of services. Awareness that they rent out storage spaces exceeded 30%.

[Figure 5 Awareness of content of container storage services]

Points people attach importance to when using storage services

Having looked at perceptions of the current situation, we now examine what kind of things people consider important when using storage services, the top three being cheap monthly fees (82.9%), proximity to home (72.4%) and security (38.3%). In setting up a storage place outside the home, operators as well as users place emphasis on three points: fees that are cheaper than the additional rent would be for increased floor space at home, a sense of distance that ensures convenience, and the ability to store things with peace of mind.
These top three points do not differ significantly between people with and without experience of using storage services. But while proximity to home was the most important point among experienced users with a rate of nearly 50%, among inexperienced people the first and second most important points were proximity to home and monthly fees, with rates of around 40% each. This shows that while experienced users are comparatively more able to see the monthly cost as reasonable, cost still poses a barrier for inexperienced users as they consider whether or not to use such services for the first time.

[Figure 6 Points people attach importance to when using storage services]

Survey conclusions

At the current time, storage services are still considered services for people who need storage. People who need storage services take advantage of the Internet to locate them. But most people are only vaguely aware of the existence of storage services and do not really understand how to use them. To overcome the present situation, we therefore need to keep proposing a way of life that includes the use of storage services outside the home.


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