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Hitting Their Straps: Guitar & Bass Strap Sales in 2020

Christian Wissmuller • September 2020Survey • September 8, 2020

With more participants in this month’s dealer survey reporting that guitar & bass strap sales are either up or level than down, when compared to the summer of 2019, it would appear this market segment is holding its own.

With respect to trends, many observed that higher-end product is doing well this year and more than a few pointed to a spike in popularity for Jacquard straps. Of course, to the surprise of nobody, the factor most commonly referenced is the pandemic and its impact on business.

However, even on that there was no consensus. For every MI retailer who pointed to COVID-19 as the driving force behind slower sales, there was another who claimed lockdown and social distancing have helped. For example, Ted Parrish of Viroqua, Wisconsin’s Parrish Music says, “Sales of straps are down the same as other product categories are down due to the pandemic.” Meanwhile, Mantova’s Two Street Music’s (Eureka, California) Anthony Mantova enthuses, “Guitar sales have skyrocketed since COVID-19, I guess people finally had enough of ‘Oprah’ and daytime TV and they are thinking, ‘What a good time to learn guitar!’” Strange times, to be sure.

Have you noticed any significant shifts or trends when it comes to guitar & bass straps, on either the end-user or supplier sides?

“We will ramp up our selection significantly within the next few months, including many exotic and boutique models. We also order additional hand-crafted leather straps made by a local artesian, and can offer custom tooling as well, for the discriminating holiday shopper.”

Jerry Vesely

Vesely Music Co.

Parowan, Utah

 

“Buyers are less interested in entry-level straps, and more interested in higher- end straps.”

Allen McBroom

Backstage Music

Starkville, Mississippi

 

“The faux leather straps at $19.95 sell incredibly well and we make a full 50 percent

margin on them. Also, the Jacquard straps which are reminiscent of the straps of the ‘60s and ‘70s are on a huge upswing in sales.”

Ed Intagliata

Cassells Music

San Fernando, California

 

“Too often a nice guitar strap is treated like an afterthought during a guitar sale. Selling a $100 strap is no different than selling a $100 pedal, but… you have to sell it. If the customer just spent $3,500 on a new guitar don’t you think they’d spend $100-plus for a nice leather strap? Of course they would.”

Tim Bascom

Morgan Music Services, Inc.

Lebanon, Missouri

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