Editorial
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2017 has certainly given us plenty to discuss and contemplate. From email hacks to Russian interference in the U.S. political process, deadly hurricanes to NFL player protests, sexual harassment accusations made against numerous high-profile figures to Twitter feuds between President Trump and… well, nearly everyone, it’s been a busy year to be sure.

But how about in the world of MI? How did this calendar year treat those who make their livelihoods selling musical instruments and related gear and what’s the overall outlook for 2018?

Who better to answer that question than some of the most successful names in the game:

“Concerns: Continued budgetary pressure on music departments in the state of Pennsylvania. Education costs are rising, funding/school taxes are flat and music departments are the first to be impacted. To address these fiscal challenges, many schools are not replacing retiring music teachers.” – Joel Menchey, Menchey Music Service

“We did a lot better than some of those articles that have been floating about are saying. We are doing fine and electric guitar sales are up. We dodged a major bullet in Houston and Florida, that could have been a game changer for the worse. Someone is looking out for us!” – Sammy Ash, Sam Ash Music Corp.

“[I’m concerned] that retail sales growth is only going to come from online sales via third party channels. Owning your own customer is getting harder and harder to do.” – Donovan Bankhead, Springfield Music

“2017 was a very good year. Our school music relationships continue to grow as does our revenue. We couldn’t be prouder of our teams.” – Jeffrey Eckroth, Eckroth Music Co.

“While the market continues to hit record highs, consumer confidence is fickle. With the civil and political unrest our country is experiencing, it wouldn’t take much to have drastic impact on consumers willingness to spend their disposable income.” – Tim Kletti, Music Go Round

“We saw all segments of our business go up in 2017 with the business as a whole up 15-20 percent” – Charles Kessler, Kessler & Sons Music

“2017 is strong. We are tracking toward an 9.49 percent increase over 2016. The economy and buyer confidence seem to be moving in the right direction. Online competition remains a concern.” – Kevin Cranley, Willis Music Co.

“The year started off strong and we saw the breaks go in late summer, we are prepping for a healthy and aggressive holiday selling season. Concerns: Keeping employee engagement high to work to build a better customer experience to stay more then relevant. [Also] to build time and focus to be a more diverse music retail option.” – Todd Heid, Heid Music

“It was challenging time, but exciting as we opened new sales avenues into e-commerce and our installed division.” – Greg Hermes, Hermes Music

“Sales showed an increase over 2016, as well as gross margins. Concerns: Maintaining and updating our brick and mortar stores as well as training and keeping good, knowledgeable employees to keep our customers coming back for more of MMI.” – Rosi K. Johnson, Mississippi Music



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