The security equipment sector is estimated to have grown by 2% in 2020, despite significant disruption across the economy due to the pandemic. This has been driven by long-term technological trends that are maturing and beginning to replace legacy systems as the greater degree of interconnectivity and interoperability, in combination with new technology such as AI, is opening up new possibilities for how security systems work.

COVID-19 has affected demand from smaller businesses, but overall demand for AI and thermal imaging equipment has been key to the market’s continued resilience, with businesses adopting these technologies as solutions to social distancing compliance.

Business have adapted to working under COVID-19 regulations, and the experience gained has minimised the impact of the third national lockdown on activity. Nonetheless, demand was still affected at the smaller end of the market, and could harm suppliers focused on independent businesses, particularly in the retail and leisure sector where many businesses have suffered from reduced footfall and enforced closures.

For larger operators, the medium-term outlook is positive, as larger businesses and corporations will look to their integrated products and services to prepare workplaces for a post-COVID-19 future. Many will also install new and upgrade existing security systems with COVID-related functionality as they restructure their operations.

Key issues covered in this report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the security equipment market

  • Growth, value, segmentation and forecast of the security equipment market

  • Trends in the security equipment market’s development and the drivers of its growth

  • Analysis of the industry, employment and financial structure of the security equipment market

  • Profiles of key companies in the market and their recent activity

COVID-19: Market context

The first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the UK at the end of January 2020, with a small number of cases in February. Rapidly rising case numbers led to the first national lockdown, starting on 23 March. It wasn't until 15 June that non-essential stores were allowed to re-open, followed by pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers on 4 July, and many beauty businesses on 13 July.

By September, it had become clear that the UK was at the start of a second wave, and social distancing measures were intensified. Continued increases in infection numbers led to Wales implementing a two-week national lockdown from 19 October, England announcing a month-long lockdown from 5 November, and Scotland introducing a new five-level system of coronavirus restrictions.

Despite these restrictions, however, case numbers continued to increase. All four UK nations tightened restrictions in January 2021, effectively leading to a full UK-wide lockdown.

On 22 February, Boris Johnson announced the roadmap to an easing of restrictions in England, starting with the re-opening of schools on 8 March, followed by the easing of restrictions on outdoor gatherings on 29 March, and with a hoped end to all restrictions by 21 June. The Welsh and Scottish governments also gave more details on their plans to ease restrictions, with both nations taking a slightly more cautious approach to the one planned for England.

The UK’s vaccination programme started on 8 December 2020, and with the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines licenced for use in the UK, the government aims to offer a first dose of the vaccine to 32 million people by mid-April.

Economic and other assumptions

Mintel’s economic assumptions are based on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s central scenario included in its November 2020 Fiscal Sustainability Report. The scenario suggests that UK GDP will have fallen by 11.3% in 2020, recovering by 5.5% in 2021, and 6.6% in 2022. GDP isn’t expected to return to pre-COVID levels until the fourth quarter of 2022. The central scenario has unemployment peaking at 7.5% in Q2 2021.

The current uncertainty, however, means there is wide variation on the range of forecasts, and this is reflected in the OBR’s own scenarios. In its upside scenario, economic activity returns to pre-COVID-19 levels by Q4 2021. Its more negative scenario, by contrast, would mean that GDP doesn’t recover until Q3 2024.

Products covered in this Report

This report covers the UK market for security equipment, including the following product areas:

Intruder alarm systems

Centrally monitored alarms


Access control

Integrated systems

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