Embracing Change: The Evolving Landscape of Online Guitar Sales

Embracing Change: The Evolving Landscape of Online Guitar Sales

The guitar industry, much like the melodic tunes it produces, has undergone a symphony of changes in the past five years. As we reflect on the transformative year of 2023, it becomes evident that guitar stores need to tune into innovative strategies to stand out in a market flooded with both local and national competitors, not to mention the growing presence of online guitar manufacturers selling direct to the consumer.

The competition is fierce, and the numbers game is real. The behemoths of the industry, such as large box stores and online giants like Amazon, wield the advantage of in-house marketing teams and substantial financial resources dedicated to digital marketing. It is a challenging environment for independent guitar shops, but there is a silver lining that promises hope and excitement for the future. Gone are the days when these independent establishments could only dream of outranking the industry giants for brief periods. Today, however, the landscape has shifted. Guitar stores, both large and small, find themselves sharing the spotlight with some of the world's leading guitar manufacturers.

Oh well, not that big of a deal considering all of the box stores and guitar stores are now in competition with some of the largest guitar manufacturers in the world. Fender was one of the first to start selling to the consumer, followed by Gibson, Taylor and now Martin has joined this group in 2023. Gibson has opened their own brick & mortar retail shop named “Gibson Garage” in Nashville and rumors are more builders are on the way.

The guitar industry's growth during the Covid years, extending into 2023, has been nothing short of extraordinary. Manufacturers responded to the surge in demand by increasing production and raising prices. However, the market now finds itself saturated with inventory, and dealers are grappling with the challenge of keeping up with the surplus along with declining sales. Keep in mind boutique and custom-built instruments are still 12-24 months out.

In response to this, a 'Sell Direct' strategy has emerged. While understandable given the circumstances, the industry has faced headwinds with inflation and numerous price increases over the past two years, somewhat dampening the once-booming guitar market. Nevertheless, in the face of uncertainty and challenges, the guitar industry remains resilient. As we venture into 2024, the post-Covid downturn and economic uncertainties will undoubtedly test its mettle once again. At Midwood Guitar Studio, we express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported us – whether by visiting our physical shop, making purchases in-store, or through our online guitar sales platform.

We encourage enthusiasts to continue supporting their local guitar shops. If you have a guitar store haven nearby, take a moment to stop by and show your support. Together, as a community of music lovers and guitar enthusiasts, we can keep the melody playing and look forward to a harmonious future for the guitar industry.

Feb 3rd 2024 Douglas Armstrong

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