Following the $1.3 billion acquisition of 84 stores from Sacramento, CA-based Life Storage, publicly traded self-storage REIT Sovran Self Storage announced that they are eliminating the Uncle Bob’s Self Storage brand name.
The self-storage operator will rebrand its 563 operating facilities to Life Storage starting in August. Sovran Self Storage will also rename itself Life Storage Inc and change its ticker system from SSS to LSI.
“Life Storage is the perfect brand name for our company and for our stores,” said David Rogers, Chief Executive Officer in a press release. “Our customers see us as an extension of their homes or businesses, where the environment is welcoming and their belongings are secure. We’ve always operated with that in mind, but the Life Storage name brings it into focus – it’s about the customer, not about us.”
New name, new century
Marc Boorstein, principal of real estate firm MJ Partners, agrees.
“We love the name change,” Boorstein said. “It makes all the sense in the world to go into the 21st century with a name like Life Storage and not something like Uncle Bob’s.”
Boorstein said he has worked closely with the Life Storage founders since they began their company in the Chicago-area.
“From the beginning, Life Storage set up their branding with the hopes of eventually going public,” Boorstein said, “They built up a very nice portfolio that sold for $1.3 billion.”
Let the rebranding begin
The acquisition by Sovran provided a presence in Las Vegas and Northern California, while also expanding its footprint in Chicago and Texas.
Diane Piegza, vice president of investor relations at Sovran, said that the Life Storage brand name was not a factor in the acquisition. The decision to rebrand the company was made after the terms of the deal were struck in May.
The company said it would cost about $22 million to rebrand all of its existing facilities to the new brand name—a task that includes replacing signs and rewrapping moving trucks. The conversion of existing stores would occur gradually between mid-August and the second quarter of 2017.
A new Life Storage website will be launched the week of August 8, featuring the 84 locations that formed the original portfolio. New stores will be added to the website as they are rebranded.
What about Bob?
Sovran Self Storage was launched in 1982 and adopted the Uncle Bob’s brand name in the early 1990s.
Piegza said that there is no real life inspiration for the name Uncle Bob. Instead it was meant to catch the attention of customers looking for storage in the Yellow Pages.
“We wanted something different and memorable, as well as had a positive connotation,” Piegza said. “Uncle Bob’s fit all criteria and provided an excellent icebreaker for our store associates.”