SW24 adds DIY to tap apartment market

Security provider will sell the systems at new Manhattan store and online
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NEW YORK—Targeting what it sees as an underserved market—apartments, with more than 2 million in metropolitan New York alone—SecureWatch 24 is getting into do-it-yourself security and is opening a store near Rockefeller Center to sell the systems.

SW24, which specializes in property surveillance and facilities management, entered the residential intrusion market last fall by giving consumers the option of month-to-month monitoring contracts. DIY for apartment dwellers is a natural extension of that concept, said Jay Stuck, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for SW24.

“The problem with this retail space [in the past] is that it’s always been a hard-wired system that required a long-term contract,” Stuck told Security Systems News. “In 2013, it’s all wireless. It’s easy to install, you don’t have to have landlord permission, and you’re not drilling holes in the walls or through metal doorjambs. It’s a lick-and-stick type of security system that suffices for an apartment that could have one or two bedrooms and a small kitchen. It’s ideal for New York City, it’s ideal for urban areas across the country.”

The DIY systems will feature Interlogix and Alarm.com technology, Stuck said. Accounts will be monitored at the new Monitor America facility in Moonachie, N.J.

“We’ll stage [each system] beforehand, we’ll ship it out to you or you can take it with you, and if you need some assistance we’ll walk you through how to do that,” he said.

The retail store on West 48th Street will have ambient lighting, LCD video screens and computer tablets for demonstrations. SW24 is looking to capitalize on the high volume of pedestrian traffic in the area, Stuck said.

“It’s going to look very inviting, very high-tech,” he said. “The emphasis will be on video to bring people in. At the same time, we’re going to be building out a [DIY] space on our website. It’s a national play when you’re talking DIY. You’re not limited geographically.”

SW24 also will use the store to demonstrate video and access control systems for commercial customers.

“As a B2B integrator and security company, we want to target the merchants in the Diamond District here in Manhattan as well as the bodega on the corner,” Stuck said.

The store will offer other safety and security products, including fire extinguishers and small safes. It is expected to open by the end of March.