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Sovran to drop Uncle Bob’s name in favor of Life Storage brand

The Uncle Bob’s will be coming down from self storage facilities across the Buffalo Niagara region and the country beginning next month.

In its place, the stores will begin operating under the Life Storage brand name.

The change is possible because Uncle Bob’s owner, Amherst-based Sovran Self Storage, has wrapped up its purchase of another self storage operator, Life Storage.

While Sovran is more than six times bigger than Life Storage, Sovran executives decided they liked the Life Storage brand name better, and decided to put it on all of their 563 Uncle Bob’s stores across 29, mostly in the eastern half of the country.

The Life Storage name won’t just be on Sovran’s stores. Sovran also is changing its name to Life Storage in a move that will unite the brand of its self storage units and its corporate name.

“Life Storage is the perfect brand name for our company and for our stores,” said David Rogers, Sovran’s chief executive officer.

“Our customers see us as an extension of their homes or businesses, where the environment is welcoming and their belongings are secure,” Rogers said. “We’ve always operated with that in mind, but the Life Storage name brings it into focus.”

What made the name changes possible was Sovran’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Life Storage, which was completed on Monday. The deal adds 84 stores to Sovran’s portfolio of 563 Uncle Bob’s facilities, which are located mostly in the eastern half of the United States, with a small presence in California.

The acquisition of Life Storage will increase the size of Sovarn’s portfolio of stores by about 15 percent. Nearly two-thirds of the Life Storage stores are located in markets where Sovran already operates. The deal also will expand Sovran’s recent push to the West Coast, adding stores in Las Vegas and Sacramento, Calif.

The process of changing the names on Uncle Bob’s stores is expected to begin during the week of Aug. 8 with the company’s stores in the Buffalo Niagara region, said Diane Piegza, a Sovran spokesman. The conversion is expected to be completed by next summer.

The new signs for each store, as well as rebranding the rental trucks that Sovran allows its customers to use, is expected to cost about $22 million.

The change of Sovran’s corporate name to Life Storage also will take place in mid-August. As a result, the company’s ticker symbol will change from the current SSS to LSI.


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