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Smartbox expands further into Oz

Smartbox expands further into Oz

Auckland-based Smartbox Mobile Self Storage has just opened their second Australian operation, continuing to grow in the ultra-competitive local self storage market.

Founded by a former milkman and his childhood sweetheart in Auckland six years ago, Smartbox has just opened the doors on their new facility in Melbourne. It is the third Smartbox branch, joining the original Auckland headquarters and the three year old Sydney branch.

Founders Steve and Jonelle Phillips have followed an aggressive expansion path since coming up with the idea of transporting self-storage units to and from the customer premises a decade ago.

“After Jonelle and I started on the road, having built the business from nothing, the idea of mobile self storage caught on pretty quick and we grew fast” says Steve. “When we had established ourselves in Auckland, we decided to look at other potential markets. The nearest markets that made sense for expansion were on the Aussie east coast, starting with Sydney.”

Joining the Australian self storage market came with a number of big hurdles for the couple who were also raising a young family.

“Apart from setting up the bricks and mortar and all the logistical headaches, we faced the challenge of changing the local mindset of people when it came to self storage. This is something that we still struggle to achieve. When people think of self storage, they only imagine the traditional way, where you arrange your own transport and fight the crowds to get your stuff into a local storage facility. We have had to open people to the possibility of storage that actually comes to you and saves you all kinds of hassle, time and money” according to Jonelle. “The best way to market our service is to have people actually see it in action. Once people realise that we are an alternative to traditional self storage, we become a much more attractive option.”

The NZ ties to the Australian offices remain strong. There are Kiwi drivers in both Aussie branches and even the Sydney Customer Relations Manager is an Auckland transplant.

“Yeah, we wanted to make sure we had at least a couple of people in each branch that could hold a proper conversation about rugby” jokes Steve.

Smartbox Storage Pty Ltd has branches in Ellerslie (AKL), Alexandria (SYD) and Braeside (MEL). Smartbox offers mobile self storage in each metropolitan area to both residential and commercial customers. A trailer is sent to the customer premises with an empty Smartbox. The customer then fills up the Smartbox and locks it. The trailer is then towed back to the secure storage facility where the Smartbox is stored until the customer requires access or the re-delivery of the Smartbox.


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