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Special Report


Guitars and More


Dustin Honeycutt, president

2014 vs. 2013? We’ve had an increase of 50 percent.

Hot new product line? PRS, Takamine, Peavey and Blackstar.

Technological advances? Facebook and Instagram have been great marketing tools.

Suppliers selling direct to consumers? People purchase what we, the seller, tell them is the best buy. If the product is not in my store, I'm going to sell them something comparable by another manufacturer, guaranteed.

Product of the year? Alvarez

Read more: 31st Annual Fifty Dealer/Fifty State Review & Forecast >>>

Special Report

As the majority of the dealers represented in this report are privately held, in most cases the data being presented in “America’s Top Chains” was supplied by the companies, themselves. In other instances, MMR made estimates based on data available to our research team.

Read more: 33rd Annual America’s Top Music Chains >>>

Last Word

Media and technology gadfly Eric Garland, co-founder of data-based metrics company Big Champagne, often converges music, technology, and retail in his thinking, once taking Guitar Center’s business model (and with it, the most recent Republican presidential nominee) to task, stating, “Retail in the 21st century will be centered around specialized knowledge, unique offerings and personal relationships, both local and digital. Any retailer – even one backed by Mitt Romney [–] is doomed if they defy those requirements.”

Read more: Instrument Repair Can Fix Customer Relationships >>>


In late October of this year, the U.S. government ceased qualitative easing (QE), a program which had involved the Federal Reserve purchasing government bonds to the tune of billions (you read that correctly – with a “b”) of dollars, in an effort to stimulate national fiscal health for the past few years. “The economy is doing well enough that the U.S. government is going to stop propping it up,” reported NPR’s Rachel Martin in a November 2 broadcast.

And many other numbers support the notion of a rebounding marketplace. “It’s good. It’s consistent solid growth,” said Rich Thompson, chief human resources officer at staffing firm Adecco Group North America in a November 7th article appearing in Forbes, noting that the economy has had 49 months in a row of job gains, the longest stretch since the 1930s. 

Read more: Succeed at That Which You Do Well >>>

Veteran Voices

Ever since I was 11 years old, I’ve known what I wanted to do.  My dad used to call me his “shadow,” because I’d follow him everywhere and eavesdrop on his phone calls (unbeknownst to him).

Music was everywhere in my life – from idolizing Steve Morse to playing catch with Van Halen in the greenbelt behind our house, I was given an unique introduction to how amazing music is, and how our industry has been shaped by some incredible people.

However, this column isn’t a self-promotional piece about my life, however. I really wanted to take this opportunity to elaborate on how truly lucky we all are to work and breathe in the industry we live in. 

Read more: Our Industry’s Trailblazers, and How They’ve Influenced Me >>>

Show Report

Music China 2014 took place October 8 – 11 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. This year’s gathering saw increased numbers across the board, with more than 1,775 exhibitors (up from from 1,680 in 2013) from 30 countries and regions (up slightly, compared to 29 last year).

Read more: Music China 2014 - Annual Gathering was the Largest in Show’s History >>>

Dealers' Choice Awards

The 2014 Dealers’ Choice Awards again brought together hundreds of enthusiastic music products retailers to select the lines that made this year a success. This winning slate of instrument, sound, lighting and other categories, was provided by over 800 votes from dealers eager to promote their best-performing favorites.

Yamaha again returns as the “Product of the Year” category winner with its much-loved Disklavier Piano, a clear favorite among voting dealers in 2014. Many familiar companies are again represented this year, as dealers made their voice clear about the lines that rocked the year, and rang the register.

It's no surprise that we see companies like Hal Leonard, Peavey, Yamaha, Shure, Kawai and others returning to claim their honors. MMR congratulates the class of 2014 Dealers’ Choice Awards and would like to thank everyone who participated in the voting process!

Read more: 22nd Annual Dealers' Choice Awards >>>

Small Business Matters

Social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, et cetera – has drastically reshaped the way that individuals, organizations, and companies interact with one another in a remarkably short span of time. For those retailers who fully grasp and embrace the nuances of these new and emerging forms of communication, social media platforms can be powerful marketing tools that drive sales and build both brand recognition and customer loyalty.

However, the notion of tweeting a photo or posting a Facebook update sends many MI storeowners running for the exits – “It makes no sense to me!”; “That’s just for kids!”; “What does it have to do with my business? Nothing!”

Nick Averwater of Memphis, Tennessee’s Amro Music has been sharing his extensive expertise on all things social media-related with his music retail brethren, leading and participating in panels on the topic at NASMD and NAMM and we asked him to chime in with some key points in this month’s installment of “Small Business Matters.”

Read more: Social Climbing >>>

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