Independent Retailers: 5 Ways Self Storage Can Boost Your Profits

23 June 2015
 Categories: , Articles

With only one or two shops at their disposal, independent retailers need to consider every possible way to cut costs. Without the turnover and buying power of a large chain of stores, independent shop owners must think creatively about cash flow and business expenses. A storage unit may seem like an unnecessary cost, but this useful asset can actually help boost your profits. Unconvinced? Read on to find out more.

Cuts rental costs in expensive areas

In some towns and cities, retail rental prices can become exorbitant. For example, New York is now the second most expensive city in the world for retail rents, with some streets fetching $3,000 per square foot. These prices are bad news for independent retailers, but you still need to have your business in the right place for your customers.

A self storage unit could help you cut rental costs. By storing stock away from your shop, you may not need to invest in such a large retail unit. Many urban shop fronts are impractical for retailers who need room to store merchandise, but a self storage unit is often the perfect way to find a compromise. Store your stock in a cheap storage unit, and make sure you only rent the space you need to look after your customers.

Allows you to take advantage of wholesale deals

Many wholesalers offer special deals to retailers, particularly at certain times of the year. In many cases, independent shop owners can't take advantage of these deals because they have nowhere to stockpile the goods. In this situation, a self storage unit can offer a great alternative because you can buy in large quantities of goods at a great price, which you can sell through when it suits you. The margin you make on the stock should easily cover the cost of your storage unit.

Helps you work around awkward delivery restrictions

Some independent stores are in places where it's difficult to make large deliveries, particularly during store opening hours. As such, many shop owners have to get to their store early, which means longer working days or extra staff costs for longer shifts.

Storage units are normally in more accessible places, where you can easily drive up and park 24/7. This arrangement means you can have large deliveries to your storage unit at a time that suits you. You can then simply take smaller amounts of stock over in your car during the day.

Cuts your insurance premiums

Many city center stores are in places where crime rates are high, particularly if you run a boutique store in a trendy part of town. The increased risk of crime means you often end up paying higher insurance premiums, and you may even have to fork out on extra security.

Storage units are generally more secure than shopping streets and town centers. As such, the insurance premium on stock you store in a storage unit is generally lower than the cost to insure the same items in an urban retail unit. With a storage unit, you can keep a minimal amount of stock on your retail premises, cutting the risk of burglary.

Gives you somewhere to store seasonal items

The big retailers generally clear out seasonal stock in their summer or winter sales, but this approach doesn't always work for independent retailers. For example, you may have items that are popular every Christmas, but that doesn't mean you want stock on hand all year.

A storage unit gives you somewhere to stash any seasonal stock that you want to rotate through your store. Seasonal sales erode your margins because you have to slash prices to shift the stock, but a storage unit allows you to hold on to items that sell well at certain times of the year. What's more, storage units are particularly useful if you need to handle large, bulky items that would otherwise get in the way.

Self storage units are not just for hoarders and people who need somewhere to temporarily store their possessions. If you own an independent retail store, a self storage unit could offer you a great way to cut costs and boost profits throughout the year.