On Guard: Security Services in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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Security providers experienced flat revenue growth during the recession as companies scaled back their security spending and bankruptcies reduced the pool of potential clients; however, as the economy recovers and supports companies’ budgets and sentiment, industry demand will improve. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Security Services industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Businesses will expand their security staff as budgets improve, reviving industry demand

Since the mid-1990s, demand for the Security Services industry has grown due to corporate and government clients increasingly outsourcing industry services. The industry relies largely on security outsourcing by retail centers, banks and other businesses. In recent years, however, “the industry has had to battle greater competition from security technology and shrinking security budgets due to the recession,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Krabeepetcharat. 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 also forced some offices to close, causing industry demand to decline. Some companies eliminated security altogether, while others ceased security outsourcing and brought the task in-house. “Also, many clients reduced the number of guards working in a shift or the number of hours that are patrolled each day,” says Krabeepetcharat. “Other firms took advantage of the temporary decline and expanded their operations by acquiring smaller players.” As a result, the number of industry enterprises is expected to decline 0.6% annually on average to 40,874 over the five years to 2012. These factors caused Security Services industry revenue to decline in 2008 and 2009; however, increased consumer spending and corporate profit has started to reverse the trend.

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. However, 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). 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. Although the industry has a lot of nonemployer firms (e.g. private investigators and bodyguards, for example), some that offer their services on a part-time basis to supplement other sources of income, the industry also 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, businesses will increase their security budgets as corporate profit and sentiment improve and more funds become available. Many clients will increase their security staff and the hours that need to be patrolled. Nevertheless, 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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