Notes from the Editor: Room for All

Dec. 4, 2017

There are approximately 132 million individual housing units in the United States. Government labor statistics set the amount of locksmith companies at 13,470. If every housing unit decided to have a locksmith replace their door lock with an electronic version, each locksmith could have 9,799 new customers. If a locksmith installed just one new electronic lock every day of the year, it would take 26.8 years to install 9,799 new electronic locksets.

Fun with numbers shows what sales figures are possible as the electronic era unfolds. Huge sales figures like this are not lost on anyone involved in the security industry. One such company is Amazon. A few months ago Amazon began experimenting with package delivery using drones. Packages dropped at the doorstep were susceptible to theft.

Now Amazon has a new wrinkle. Packages are planned to be physically delivered by a driver and the driver will have electronic access to unlock the housing unit so packages can be secured inside the building. Since this requires an electronic lockset, the next step might be for Amazon to enter the security field with sales, service and monitoring of electronic security systems for homeowners.

Expectations for locksmiths to sell every one of the 9,799 electronic replacement locks are not realistic. Standardization of mortise lock cutout dimensions have simplified lock replacement and increased the amount of DIY sales. ASSA ABLOY just announced plans to acquire August Home, a leading manufacturer of electronic locks for the DIY market.

According to the ASSA ABLOY announcement, August Home expects sales in 2018 to be $60 million. Estimated sales for the entire smart lock market in five years are expected to be $1.17 billion. With numbers like that, there is room for everyone to gain part of the market share as the demand for electronic security expands.