Nascent storage industry taking off

Updated: 2012-02-03 08:10

By Shi Yingying (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - A Western practice has landed in China to solve a new dilemma for urban residents: too much stuff and not enough space.

The self-storage industry, available in many Western countries, is starting to take root in China as people look for places to stash their excess valuables and commercial goods.

Xie Fang, 30, rented a 5-cubic-meter space for three months at the cost of 689 yuan ($109) per month at Youyou Space at the end of last year.

For Xie, the biggest attraction was that she could get into her little warehouse at anytime of the day - even at 11 pm. "I don't worry too much about security, because there are 24-hour cameras monitoring the space. In addition to that, they control both temperature and humidity so that my expensive cosmetics won't go bad."

Chen Yu, executive customer manager of Youyou Space, a 3,000-square-meter, 24-hour self-storage space located in Shanghai's Wujiaochang area of Yangpu district, said items stored in his space could be anything ranging from collections of antique calligraphy and paintings to luxury cosmetics or brand-name bags.

"Unlike a huge warehouse, we don't control the content of the storage, but we don't accept dangerous objects, such as firecrackers," he said.

The size of private self-storage varies from 0.7 to 20 cubic meters, and the prices range from several hundred yuan to more than 1,000 yuan per month.

 Nascent storage industry taking off

A staff member demonstrates the use of a self-storage facility in Shanghai on Tuesday. This service, relatively new to the city, caters to families with limited space at home. Provided to China Daily

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