Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the European market for base metal padlocks, according to Eurostat code 25721130, has been growing, with Germany producing a value of 18.1 million euros in 2021, representing a significant 21.9% share of European production. A stable trade scenario is observed in Germany's import and export dynamics based on UN Comtrade data under HS code 8301, with 2021 testifying to a trade surplus; imports amounted to $1090.4 million while exports were $1487.5 million. The ADAC 2020 survey indicates that more than a fifth of Germans intend to use their bicycles more frequently after the pandemic. This interest in cycling correlates with the need for secure padlocks, which is also reflected in increased sales of leather goods and travel accessories, also facilitating demand for travel padlocks.

Notably, European regulations such as EN-12320 dictate the durability and security classification of padlocks, although prices for top-security padlocks can vary from around 4 to over 100 euros, influenced by rising metal prices. The padlock market, mainly dominated by ABUS, Burg-Wächter and Master Lock, also includes a unique segment dedicated to "love padlocks", particularly visible on the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, with an estimated value of Cologne, with an estimated 500,000 love padlocks and continuing annual additions despite growing security concerns about such practices.

Trends and dynamics in the German padlock market

Over the past decade, the German padlock market has experienced a variety of trends, demonstrating a certain dynamic between tradition and technology, utility and sentimentality. In the European context, Germany plays a fundamental role, contributing significantly to the global value of padlock production. By 2021, the production value of the German padlock market has risen significantly, approaching 22% of the European total. An important segment of the padlock market is travel-related. Despite a slowdown due to the health crisis in 2020 and 2021, the number of German travelers is on the mend, with projections pointing to a return to pre-pandemic levels. This rebound is linked to sales of travel accessories and leather goods which, after some irregularities, have seen an increase, reaching almost 2.6 billion euros around 2020. What's more, Germans' transport choices are leaning towards trains and planes, which account for almost two out of every five travellers.

This trend is driving the need for secure travel accessories, including padlocks, to keep luggage safe during transport. Germany's booming bicycle culture is another area of growth in the padlock market. With almost one bicycle per capita, and an increased propensity to use bicycles after the health crisis - with up to a fifth of the population expressing this intention - demand for bicycle locks has obviously surged. European standard EN-12320 governs the safety assessment of padlocks. It includes resistance tests that assign security levels from 1 to 6. Interestingly, the quest for love has found its way into the padlock market. In Germany, the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne bears witness to a modern tradition where lovers attach love padlocks as a symbol of their affection. According to estimates, nearly half a million love padlocks adorned the bridge in 2015, with annual additions of around 100,000 padlocks, demonstrating that the padlock market is all about sentiment. In conclusion, the German padlock market, while rooted in a traditional security device, is dynamically influenced by trends in travel, cycling, technological advances and even cultural practices linked to symbols of love. The German market's response to changing consumer needs and preferences, and its compliance with safety standards, continue to facilitate its growth and position in Europe. With rising production values and global business trends, Germany should maintain a significant presence in this market segment.

Leading forces in the padlock industry

Within the padlock market landscape, certain names stand out for their strong market presence and influence. These industry leaders have helped shape the trajectory of the padlock sector through innovation, product diversity and brand reputation. Key market players include ABUS, Burg-Wächter and Master Lock.


  • ABUS: when it comes to padlocks, ABUS is synonymous with reliability and security. Founded in Germany in 1924, the company has established itself as a global benchmark for security solutions for people and objects. ABUS has developed a wide range of security products, including mechanical and electronic padlocks, renowned for their durability and high-security features. With a rich heritage and an ongoing commitment to quality, ABUS continues to be a preferred choice for both individual users and professional entities looking for robust locking mechanisms.

  • Burg-Wächter: Another major player of German origin, Burg-Wächter has over 95 years of expertise in the security industry. The company is renowned for its precision engineering and manufacturing excellence. It offers a vast catalog of padlocks to meet a variety of needs, from basic security to high-level protection. Burg-Wächter prides itself on combining traditional craftsmanship with modern technology to create reliable, easy-to-use products that guarantee peace of mind for consumers.

  • Master Lock: A leading name in the padlock industry, Master Lock stands out for its versatile offerings that encompass a whole range of security solutions. Founded in 1921, the American company is a pioneer in padlock innovation. It offers a range of padlocks including combination padlocks, keyed padlocks and smart padlocks that integrate with digital technologies. Master Lock's commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction makes it a formidable player in markets around the world. These companies form the cornerstone of the padlock industry, setting standards for quality and innovation.

Each player has made its mark on the market with distinctive product designs and security features that meet the varied needs of consumers. Thanks to their in-depth knowledge of market dynamics, ABUS, Burg-Wächter and Master Lock are not only manufacturers, but also trend-setters, ensuring that the padlock industry continues to evolve while maintaining a firm grip on first-rate security solutions.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A padlock is a tool that can be used to lock a door, a safe or a suitcase, but also to lock a chain. A padlock consists of a lock mechanism and a mechanical ring monitored by a key or a system of number wheels.

There are many different models of padlocks that segment the market, from the locking system to the degree of security to the different sizes and materials to suit each purpose.

China is the largest exporter of padlocks in the world. In 2021, China exported nearly ten times as much as the second largest exporter, Taiwan. Germany has a fairly important role in the trade of padlocks, producing nearly 22% of the value of the European total in 2021.

However, the padlock market is affected by technological developments, as padlocks networked with digital devices are emerging. These padlocks can be unlocked directly from a smartphone (remotely or locally) and work via Bluetooth or fingerprint. However, their use is still secondary and the focus is on mechanical padlocks. The innovations in this market show that it remains interesting despite not following the desired trend.

There are some trends that set the course for future growth, such as the trend towards bicycles, which are being bought more and more often, but unfortunately are also frequently stolen. This is where the padlock comes into play, because it is the ideal tool to give users a sense of security, especially since the development of more valuable and expansive e-bikes (electric bikes).

1.2 The European market

With regard to the European market, we rely on Eurostat data using the following code:

******** "Base metal padlocks"

In the last ten years, a rather stable value can be observed, with a peak in ****, which reached ***.* million euros. In ****, the value of German production was worth **.*** million euros, an increase ...

1.3 The national market

We rely on Eurostat data using the following code :

******** "Base metal padlocks"

As we can see in the graph below, the production value of padlocks made of metals slightly decreased between **** and ****, losing almost * million euros of its value. However, in **** and **** there was a strong increase, reaching a value ...

1.4 International trade

To monitor international trade in padlocks in Germany, we use data from UN Comtrade using the following HS code:

**** "Padlocks and locks (***), of base metal; latches and frames containing latches, of base metal; keys for any of the foregoing, of base metal."

Thus, this code goes somewhat beyond the single ...

2 Application analysis

2.1 Padlocks used when traveling

Another area that padlocks are strongly associated with is travel. This first chart shows us the number of German travelers who have gone on trips in recent years. We can see that the number of travelers has been stable between **** and ****, before the health crisis strongly impacted the market in **** and ...

2.2 Padlocks for bicycles

Bicycles are among the most important objects in our everyday lives that are secured with locks. Therefore, it makes sense to look at the number of bicycles used in Germany. The following graph shows that there is a real bicycle culture in Germany, because there is almost one bicycle for every ...

2.3 Love symbolism

Love Locks are padlocks that lovers place in symbolic places around the world (***), especially on bridges. The principle is based on the symbolism of the padlock, which represents love in a couple, and by throwing the bridge key, the padlock is thus sealed forever.

In Germany, the most famous place for ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

There are mainly two types of padlocks, those with combination (***), although we will see in part * that with new technologies there are more ways to open padlocks. The type of padlock chosen depends on its future use, this part will be explained in more detail in *.*.

How it works

Behind the ...

3.2 Related articles

Keys for padlocks

Keys for padlocks are as important as padlocks themselves. Whether they are purchased with the padlock or after the original key has been lost, they represent a separate industry in the market. Although the following code ******** refers not only to keys for padlocks, but to "keys, individually presented, ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of the offer

We have seen that the size, material or even the type of closure of a padlock can vary. Here are the different types of padlocks depending on what they are used for:

Key or code lock

Padlocks with a code are often used when an entrance needs to be shared with ...

4.2 Prices for metals and padlocks

The metal priceFrance, ****-****, €/ton, price at the opening of the stock exchange

Source: ****

*Daily price

Prices for the above metals have increased since ****, especially for steel, whose price has almost doubled in three years. Accordingly, the selling prices have also developed.

The selling prices

Source: ****

Padlock prices vary widely ...

5 Regulations

5.1 European regulations

The security level of a padlock

The European standard EN-***** can be used to measure the technical performance of a padlock. The padlock is subjected to ** resistance tests, so the intensity ranges from * to *.

Most padlocks from hardware stores are not classified (***). This can be explained by the following circumstance: Having ...

6 Positioning of the players

6.1 Segmentation of the players

The market is extremely concentrated around three main companies that dominate the market: ABUS, Burg-Wächter and Master Lock.

  • Master Lock Europa
  • ABUS
  • Burg-Wächter

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Value of the production of padlocks
  • Value of the production of padlocks
  • Foreign trade with padlocks
  • Main countries of origin of padlocks
  • Main countries receiving padlocks
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Master Lock Europa
ABUS
Burg-Wächter

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