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Layoffs in Music
Supply, Retail

As the economy worsened at the end of 2008, news broke that Guitar Center laid off roughly 60 employees from its corporate office. Since then, the staffing situation at several major music products companies has not improved.

Roland U.S. cut an undisclosed portion of its work force in January due to the tough economy. The move came after a set of initial staff cuts in fall 2008.

“We’ve had to make adjustments to our staffing in response to changes in the business environment, and we will continue to do that as necessary,” said Dennis Houlihan, president of Roland U.S.

Yamaha Corp. of America reported making several cost-cutting measures in late February to combat the economic conditions. Among them, the company laid off 5 percent of its employees.

“Reducing our work force is extremely difficult, and we had taken every cost-saving measure before resorting to this action,” said Tom Sumner, senior vice president of Yamaha Corp. of America. “Still, it became necessary for us to resize our company based on the current economic reality.”

Steinway announced in its fourth-quarter financial report that it laid off 13 percent of its work force, starting last summer. The piano maker has also suspended pay increases for its salaried employees and is taking steps to suspend, eliminate or reduce many of its benefit programs.