Hardship and Grit: The StorageMart Comeback Story

How our Storage Facilities Started in Columbia

In terms of a comeback story, you’ll be hard pressed to find another quite like ours. We’ve got it all – the underdog entrepreneur up against a giant corporate takeover, heartbreaking loss, and just enough grit and hope to make a comeback. StorageMart is the largest privately-owned self storage company in the world, with over 196 locations across the US, UK, and Canada. They are one of the largest of all storage services in the United States, which is impressive considering that StorageMart grew from a single location in Columbia, Missouri to the storage empire it is today.

This Friday Feature will take a brief look inside the store that started it all.

Burnam’s First Storage Facilities in Columbia

The Burnams first entered the storage industry in the early 1970s, buying their first property in Columbia, Missouri. They quickly expanded, developing facilities in both South Carolina and Mississippi. Changing tax laws prompted the Burnams to sell their interests in 1986, but the hiatus was short, and in 1987 they began to rebuild, developing two properties in Alabama and Florida. By 1994, the family-owned business had grown to 58 stores and were taken public with the Storage Trust Real Estate Investment Trust. They continued to grow to over 230 stores by 1999, but were bought out by their biggest competitor, Public Storage.

The family was left with a handful of facilities and only each other for support. Cris Burnam, president at StorageMart, reflects, “On a Friday we had around 500 employees and by Monday we had about 10 – and I was related to most of them!” Rather than find another business avenue, the Burnams stuck with what they knew and began to rebuild under the StorageMart brand. Their first purchase was a single Columbia, MO storage units property on Rangeline Street, just off of Highway 70.

“it’s still remarkable considering how StorageMart started as a one-facility outpost in Columbia, Mo., and grew to the global entity it has become today – still run by the same family,” writes David Lucas, a contributor for Mini-Storage Messenger, a storage industry publication.

StorageMart is the epitome of a comeback story about a family that has grown a business through hard-work, perseverance, and trust in each other.

“When you work with family, you have a bond and trust level. We all have different talents, but, at another level, trust is there. That’s a lot of what has made our family dynamic work so well.” – Cris Burnam, President, StorageMart

The Location – Storage Units on Rangeline Street in Columbia, Missouri

The Burnams started StorageMart and developed its first storage units in Columbia, Missouri. The Rangeline location is Store Number One, and the company has grown to over 196 locations world-wide. StorageMart has the branding and systems of a big business, but the heart of a small business, and is still owned by the same family. A third generation of Burnams has joined the company, ensuring that customer service, clean facilities, and ease of use remain a priority.

StorageMart on Rangeline Street in Columbia, Missouri is conveniently located with easy access to the rest of the city. It is the largest StorageMart location in Columbia with 556 total storage units and almost 143,000 square feet of storage space. Like other StorageMart locations, it offers well-lit units that are fenced in and gate-accessible, climate-controlled units, moving supplies for sale, moving carts, and 24/7 gate access by request. There is also a FREE MONTH promotion going on right now for new tenants. StorageMart is your storage solution in Columbia.

The location is managed by Jeff Linwood, and the team there exhibit the finest examples of StorageMart’s quality promise: Easy Clean Service. Here’s what some of our clients had to say:

“Love StorageMart! Always very friendly and so helpful. Always goes out of her way to make sure we have exactly what we need and the proper size storage. Shows us where the unit is located and even gives us helpful tips on how to make the storage unit accessible for when we need to retrieve our items. So glad we chose StorageMart!”– Melissa B.

“StorageMart on Rangeline has the nicest guy at the front desk! Every time I have been there he is so kind and he has no idea that it makes my day to pay my bill! Thank you StorageMart for storing my stuff!” – Pamela S.

“Very easy to set up a new storage space – very friendly staff that showed me multiple spaces to make sure I was getting what I needed! Damon was very helpful, and I’m relieved to have a space to store my belongings!” – Erin C.

From our first storage units in Columbia, MO to almost 200 locations world-wide, StorageMart is a local, family-owned business that found success out of hardship. We want to be your storage solution, and have multiple storage facilities in the Columbia area.