Some of the music products industry’s best ambassadors are the rock stars who inspire us with their success and whom so many of us try—or have tried—to emulate. But there’s also another kind of “rock star” in our industry: the people who have founded the companies that have become part of our industry’s DNA, earning more respect and acclaim with each successive product launch. Hartley Peavey, Founder & CEO of Peavey Electronics, who has helmed the company for all of its 48 years, is just such a person. In this candid conversation with The Retailer, Peavey discusses in detail his concerns about the state of brick-and-mortar MI retailing these days, identifying several areas that he feels need improvement. He also discusses what’s hot at Peavey right now, in addition to reflecting on his nearly five decades of success and what he’d like his legacy to be.
The Music & Sound Retailer: You’ve recently expressed concerns about the state of music products retailing and dealers’ practices. Explain your critique, and tell dealers what you think they should be doing better or differently.
Hartley Peavey: It’s a “multifaceted problem.” Unfortunately, many dealers, in my opinion, have come to the mistaken conclusion that knowing the features and advantages of what they sell is not worth the effort! And, sadly, as a result of that, a lot of them tend to make the “easy sale,” which usually means a sale that there’s not much profit in. It’s not so much that they’re not selling; it’s that they’re selling stuff they don’t make any profit on.