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Are Retail Storefronts the Next Wave for Security Integrators?

The Alarm Company in Jackson, Miss. sees retail storefronts as the future for security companies, advising 'we have to change or we will starve to death and die financially.'


The Alarm Company has a storefront in Madison, Miss. to tout its security system installation services.

While the custom electronics industry is turning away from retail storefronts as the Internet takes away much-needed foot traffic, one security integrator has opted to open a retail storefront for his security business.

Calling it a matter of an “old dog learning new tricks,” Tony Collums, president of The Alarm Company Inc. (TAC) in central Mississippi, has opened a retail store in Madison, Miss. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Collums recently blogged on the Honeywell Security website that the move was necessitated by market conditions.

“Our business was great, the phones rang off the hook, referrals were outstanding and we could actually make a profit,” he writes. “But times have changed, so we have to change as well or we will starve to death and die financially.”

He continues, “The time has come for us in the security industry to come out of our hiding places and to become visible and accessible. Retail shopping centers and strip malls could be the wave of the future for the low voltage industry. We are no longer just the alarm company, we are becoming so much more. Because of technology, potential clients want to see more. So we have to create an environment that will draw them to our turf. That is where a retail store front comes into play.”

Collums, who has been in business since 1989, did his homework scouting out the most highly visible location, hiring professionals to design and build the storefront, and marketing it via email, invoice stuffers, direct mail, brochures in his service tickets and invoices, and on his webpage. He even held an open house offering specials or gifts to those who attended. The company outsources its alarm monitoring to SentryNet.

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Article Topics

News · Business Resources · Home Automation and Control · Security · All topics

About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

1 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/25  at  02:14 PM

Interesting concept.

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