Trends, Issues And Obstacles That MI Retailers Face
As the holidays approach, yet another year in MI retail is winding down. Once again, this year was a mixed bag for MI store owners—some opened and some closed; some saw sales go up and others struggle to remain in business for another year—but the pressure to deal with changing music trends, economic conditions, online and big-box competition, and other factors remains universal. The Music & Sound Retailer spoke with three retailers from across the country to get a sense of how they fared in 2013.
It’s The Economy, Stupid
One of the major themes that permeated the experience of all three retailers in 2013 was, once again, the economy. MI retailers have to contend with continuing financial fears on the part of customers fiercely trying to hold onto their discretionary income. “People are worrying about losing their jobs and they are worried about their stock portfolios,” said Mike and Maureen Johnson of Massachusetts-based Johnson Music. “So many things are scaring people today, and MI is the last thing they’ll spend their money on. It’s too bad, but that’s the way it is.”
Johnson Music has seen a surprisingly precipitous drop in much of its instrument sales this year, but accessory sales have remained strong for the store because, according to Mike Johnson, “People are playing what they have, and they still need the stuff that keeps them playing, like drumsticks, strings and reeds.” He listed Snark Tuners and Kyser Capos as …