November 28, 2022 I Retail

MI Retailers Share Black Friday Success

Clockwise from left: Island Music Co.'s Keith Grasso, Rupp's Drums' Alex Simpson, Sims Music's Justin Sims and Bookmark Music's Marcia Stearns.

Last weekend officially kicked off the holiday shopping season — one that many retailers and analysts have approached with trepidation amidst the current economic downturn. As such, Music Inc. spoke to independent music retailers across the country to hear how Black Friday and Small Business Saturday went at their dealerships — and many reported seeing strong sales. Alex Simpson, owner of Rupp’s Drums in Denver, said he believes his store’s shoppers waited to make purchases during the post-Thanksgiving sales due to the recent inflation.

“The 2022 Black Friday and Small Business Saturday weekend dramatically exceeded our expectations,” Simpson said. “I believe this was, in part, due to the effect that inflation has had on consumer spending trends. Holiday shoppers are undoubtedly looking for ways to save, and they responded enthusiastically to the deals we had to offer.”

Island Music Co. in La Plata, Maryland, offered 10% off its entire store for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and saw a heavy amount of foot traffic.

“We had a very strong kick off to the holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday,” said Keith Grasso, owner of Island Music Co. “We’re very happy to report foot traffic [was] at pre-pandemic levels. We’ve noticed stand out sales in acoustic guitars, pro-audio gear and guitar amplifiers so far this season.”

At Easy Music Center in Honolulu, sales were 32% up over last year’s Thanksgiving week and weekend.

“Gross profit was only up 25% though, so we definitely felt some margin compression based on the kinds of things vendors are doing these days with discounting,” said Peter Dods, Easy Music Center’s president. “Net net, it was a great week, and we feel that this holiday season is going to be a robust one.”

While Black Friday sales were slower for Bookmark Music in Pacific Grove, California, store owner Marcia Stearns said Small Business Saturday set a record for her store.

“Because we had a high school jazz ensemble playing on our sidewalk, Small Business Saturday set an all-time record,” Stearns said. “We’re trying to get the students back for the remaining Saturdays [leading up to Christmas].”

Although Sims Music in Columbia, South Carolina, saw sales dip ever-so-slightly over last year, general manager Justin Sims said November 2022 was the best November in the history of his family’s business.

“We had a great weekend of business, with sales being just a tiny bit under last year, but we have officially had the best November in the history of the store,” Sims shared. “We had our annual private sale for our lesson program students [on the Sunday after Small Business Saturday], and it was a huge success as always.” MI

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