On Guard: Security Services in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Since the mid-1990s, demand for the Security Services industry has grown in line with outsourcing by corporate and government clients. It relies on security outsourcing by retail centers, banks and other businesses. Unfortunately for operators, the industry has recently battled greater competition and falling security budgets. Security providers experienced flat revenue growth during the recession as companies scaled back their security spending and bankruptcies reduced the pool of potential clients. As the economy recovers, though, so will industry demand. Still, security providers will face competition from high-tech alternatives like closed-circuit TV and alarm systems, but large operators will adapt by providing integrated security services. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Security Services industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Businesses will expand their security staff as corporate profit and sentiment improve, reviving industry demand

Since the mid-1990s, demand for the Security Services industry has grown in line with outsourcing by corporate and government clients. It relies on security outsourcing by retail centers, banks and other businesses. “Unfortunately for operators, the industry has recently battled greater competition and falling security budgets during the recession,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Kevin Culbert. Consequently, revenue has remained relatively flat during the five years to 2012, decreasing an estimated 0.2% annually on average to $28.2 billion.

The recession forced many clients to reduce their security budgets, while others closed offices, causing industry demand to decline. “Some companies eliminated security altogether, while others ceased security outsourcing and brought the task in-house,” Culbert explains. “Also, many clients reduced the number of guards working in a shift or the number of hours that are patrolled each day.” These factors caused industry revenue to decline in 2008 and 2009. Coupled with the decline in demand during the recession, rising competition has caused profit margins to fall. In response, larger industry players are offering more value-added services to mitigate profit declines. Other firms have taken advantage of the temporary decline and expanded their operations by acquiring smaller players. Current Security Services industry companies include Securitas AB, G4S PLC, Allied Security LLC, The Brink’s Company and Loomis AB.

Security firms offer a variety of services, including security with guards, armored transportation and private investigation. Accounting for about three-quarters of industry revenue, security guards are the industry's most widely used service. Unfortunately for security firms, these labor-intensive activities are being substituted by monitoring technology and equipment, such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, which are provided by the Security Alarm Services industry (IBISWorld report 56162). The industry has a lot of medium- and large-size firms, which typically offer integrated security, value-added services and cash handling. During the five years to 2017, the overall level of concentration is not expected to change significantly. Over the period, downstream businesses will increase their security budgets as sentiment improves and more funds become available. Many clients will increase their security staff and the hours that guards are on duty. The rise in demand is projected to boost revenue, but external competition from alarm companies will remain an issue and weigh on industry profit. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Security Services in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Security service companies provide one or more of the following: investigation and detective services; guard and patrol services; and protected transport of valuables, including money, receipts and other items. The industry does not include companies that sell security systems, such as burglar and fire alarms.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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