September 04, 2020 I Coronavirus
Guitar Center Reports Sales Surge
Like many music retailers, Guitar Center is seeing a sales surge during the coronavirus quarantine, including at its location on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Hollywood store manager Scott Annesley credited the trend to people turning to music as a creative outlet during the pandemic. “A lot of people are starting guitar, piano, DJ,” he said. “A lot of people like picking up stuff for the first time.”
According to Michael Doyle, Guitar Center senior vice president, guitars and tech merchandising, sales of acoustic and electric guitars and guitar amplifiers are up across the MI chain, while keyboards, recording equipment and software are selling well as well, along with electronic drums.
“We’re also seeing an increase in products used for content creation and podcasts — products like interfaces, USB microphones,” he said. “The common characteristics of these categories is that they can all be enjoyed from home and by people of all ages. They can be played individually or with friends and family – of course with the prerequisite social distancing. Adding recording into the mix brings a whole new dimension of creativity to music-making.”
Doyle said anything an end-user can do through headphones presents an advantage right now. “It need not disturb other members of the household.”
Interestingly, Doyle shared that Guitar Center data shows its new customers are increasingly younger and female. He also shared that acoustic guitars are primarily performing well at a $500 price point and electric guitars are having the most growth at $1,000 and above.
“This suggests that many are new to music-making while others are upgrading to the electric guitar of their dreams,” he said.
According to Doyle, the guitar segment of Guitar Center “did more business in May 2020 than we did in May 2019 – and 2019 was a record year.”
He advocated for music’s role in people’s lives. “People just feel better when they are around music,” he said. “It’s more fun than commuting to and from work, frees you from the stresses of the day, and is far more involving than a purely digital experience on a phone or computer.”