Frost & Sullivan: UK Residential Security Market Less Impacted by the Economic Recession

A decline in construction output caused by the economic recession and rising unemployment affected the UK residential security market. After the overall slump in 2009, a modest recovery is expected in 2010 and more sustained one will start in 2012. However, the installed base of professionally monitored systems seems to be relatively untouched by the economic downturn. Many service providers supported by the society awareness of the increasing crime rate, identify high-income households as their market target.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan entitled “Opportunities in the UK Residential Security Market” finds that the market earned revenues of US$559 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $640 million in 2013. The following product segments are covered in the research including intrusion detection, smoke detection, video surveillance and services.

"Fear of crime and a ‘security culture', coupled with large number of high-income households as the target market, should counterbalance the economic downturn," said Suchismita Das, Industry Analyst for Physical Security at Frost & Sullivan. "Although crime rates, in terms of burglaries and thefts, have been steadily declining over the past years, media are focusing on an expected strong rise, mainly associated with rising unemployment, thus leading to fear of crime."

At the same time, proactive marketing and flexible pricing are set to boost consumer awareness and acceptance of residential security products. Smaller companies are intensifying their competitive efforts to obtain market share from larger participants, introducing aggressive pricing structure.

However, still perceived high prices of monitored systems and services paralleled by the poor performances of legacy systems loom as a major challenge to market prospects.

"Even though security is gaining importance among large home owners, it is still very low on the priority scale," Das said. "This is due to the perception of electronics security systems as a grudge purchase, often associated with high false alarms rates, therefore providing poor value for money."

To succeed on the competitive market, companies need to focus on customer service. They should also deliver clear, simple and transparent maintenance offerings.

Residential security market is extremely fragmented both from a service and manufacturer perspective. Targeting the residential sector with a strategic focus on sales and marketing is enabling many companies to outperform the market. In addition, business models with flexible bundle pricing offer another strategy for success and will become a norm in this sector.

U.K. is one of the most advanced countries in Europe in terms of acceptance of security services. Although the concept of a smart house as an energy-efficient, integrated and intelligent building is still 10 to15 years away, there is a clear need for service/systems providers to understand the implications of the evolution from the present day highly segmented security market to a "converged" and integrated future one.
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