Home is where the stock is Home is where the stock is

Home is where the stock is: Business owners use home as stockroom

  • Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of SME owners who run a business that sells products have used their home to store stock
  • More than one third (38 per cent) of those who need to store stock have converted a room into a stockroom
  • More than a quarter (27 per cent) have had stock damaged or stolen when storing it at home – the average value of damaged stock is £1,007

Almost three quarters1 of SME business owners with stock to store have seen their homes transformed into warehouses, according to new research from Direct Line for Business2.

Of the 5.7 million SMEs registered across the UK3, 63 per cent run a business that sells products. Of this number, 71 per cent of SMEs has had to use their own home to store their products.

The most common rooms sacrificed to store stock for small or medium businesses are a spare bedroom (24 per cent), the garage (23 per cent) or a cupboard (15 per cent), as these keep the stock out of sight. One in 11 SMEs (nine per cent), however, admit to using their primary living room to keep business stock. Six per cent use their kitchen and five per cent even resort to using any available space in their bathroom.

Top 10 rooms to store stock in home

Rank Rooms in the home Percentage of SMEs who use or have used this room to store stock
1 Spare room 24%
2 Garage 23%
3 A cupboard in the house 15%
4 Shed 14%
5 Basement 11%
6 Primary living room 9%
=7 Conservatory or porch 8%
=7 Secondary living room 8%
9 Attic space 7%
=10 Main bedroom 6%
=10 Kitchen 6%

Source: Direct Line for Business 2018

In a bid to keep products close by, two fifths (38 per cent) of SMEs with stock have converted a room in their house to specifically become a stockroom.

When it comes to theft and damage, unfortunately over a quarter of SMEs (27 per cent) have had stock stolen or damaged when storing it in their own home. Even when storing products away from the home they are vulnerable, as nearly a third (29 per cent) of SMEs have had to deal with stolen or damaged stock in an external storage facility.

The average value of damaged or stolen stock stands at £1,007, with the most common causes being accidental damage (26 per cent) and theft (20 per cent).

Top five causes of damage to stock

Rank Cause Percentage
1 Accidental damage 26%
2 Theft 20%
3 Flood 18%
4 Burst pipe / escape of water 17%
5 Fire 16%

Source: Direct Line for Business 2018

Carly Menken, from Direct Line for Business, said: "As more people are choosing to work for themselves, it's no surprise that so many business owners are turning to rooms in their own home to facilitate stock as a cheaper alternative to external facilities.

Whether stock is being stored in the home or a warehouse, there is a risk of damage or theft so it's important to have the right insurance in place. Typically, home insurance won't cover damaged or lost business stock at home, so business owners should consider business insurance which can cover stock and equipment and also provides cover for loss of income if stock is damaged or stolen."

London is a hotspot for theft or damaged stock as 42 per cent of SMEs in the capital have been the victim of theft or had their stock damaged whilst stored at home. The average value of stolen or damaged stock in London is £1,589, the highest of any region and 58 per cent higher than the national average (£1,107).

For further details on Direct Line for Business Insurance please visit https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/small-business-insurance/home-business-insurance

Notes to Editors

1 Consumer omnibus research completed amongst 501 SME senior decision makers from 11-18 October 2017 rebased to those who have business stock (314)

2 Consumer omnibus research completed amongst 501 SME senior decision makers from 11-18 October 2017

3 SME data courtesy of Gov.UK's Business population estimates 2017 dataset, published 30th November 2017

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967
Email: antonia.green@citigatedewerogerson.com

Direct Line Group
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 01372 839 452
Mobile: 07825 315 931
Email: jade.trimbee@directlinegroup.co.uk

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 303 1739 or visiting www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk

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