Musical Instrument & Supply Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,600 musical instrument and supply retailers in the US sell musical instruments, sheet music, and related products and services. Firms may provide rental, lease, or repair services for musical instruments. Some firms provide music instruction or lessons. Companies may specialize in a particular product category, such as pianos or guitars.

Competition from Alternative Sources

Musical instrument and supply retailers compete with a variety of alternative sources, including mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, online-only retailers, and direct-to-consumer channels.

Unpredictable Trends and Fads

While not as unpredictable as the fashion industry, the musical instrument and supply market has its share of trends and fads.

Industry size & Structure

The average musical instrument and supply store operates out of a single location, employs 10 workers, and generates $1-2 million annually.

    • The musical instrument and supply store industry consists of about 2,600 firms that employ about 26,500 workers and generate $4.5 billion annually.
    • The musical instrument and supply store industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for about 55% of industry revenue. The top four firms account for 41% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Guitar Center, Sam Ash, and Schmitt Music Company. Some large domestic firms will ship merchandise to foreign countries.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Musical Instrument & Supply Stores Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Dec 4, 2022 - Retail Sales Increased During Key Holiday Period
                                    • Retail sales during the key Thanksgiving weekend period increased 10.9% year-over-year excluding auto, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation. In-store sales increased 10.5% while e-commerce increased 12.5% for the weekend running Thursday, November 24 through Sunday, November 27. Overall retail sales on Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, remained positive though they moderated slightly from the weekend in terms of year-over-year growth. Total Cyber Monday retail sales excluding auto increased 9.7% year over year while e-commerce increased 10.9% and in-store retail sales increased 9.2%.
                                    • Retail sales are expected to increase between 6% and 8% year over year from November 1 through December 31 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). The figures exclude spending at car dealers, gas stations, and restaurants. Sales increased 13.5% year over year in 2021 and totaled $889.3 billion. Consumers, especially lower-income shoppers, are grappling with higher prices this year on a range of necessities, but they are still spending, said the NRF. Sales volume—or amount of items purchased—is also expected to increase from last year. NRF noted that some holiday shopping may have started before November, as retailers have pushed holiday deals earlier each year, in part to boost overall spending.
                                    • Retailers are focusing on delivering packages to customers on specific dates this holiday season, rather than competing on delivery speed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Experts say that a race for e-commerce delivery speed has narrowed retailers’ sales profit margins. Inflation-conscious consumers now dialing back their online shopping, however, so many retailers are focused on restraining the high costs of fulfillment and last-mile delivery. Online shoppers are now more willing to wait for certain deliveries, having gotten used to supply-chain disruptions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Terry Esper, associate professor of logistics at the Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
                                    • Bricks-and-mortar musical instrument stores that fail to address women's needs may be losing sales, according to data gathered by musical instrument manufacturing giant Fender. “Women were buying guitars online because in the brick-and-mortar stores there was nobody to relate to, and they weren’t getting treated well,” according to Fender CEO Andy Mooney. Fender found in 2018 that women make up half of all new guitar players and they were usually buying acoustic guitars. Authors of a June 2022 Find My Guitar study suggested that offering signature guitars co-designed by female artists could boost sales to women. Only 13 guitar lines for women or non-binary players were found by the study authors.
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