Rock Candy

While most were glad to flip their calendars anew to January 2021, there are some who can actually say 2020 wasn’t so bad. In this instance, that “some” is code for guitar and music instrument retailers.

Rolling Stone recently published a piece playfully titled “Did Everyone Buy a Guitar in Quarantine or What?” which details the very impressive sales figures for various guitar and music instrument retailers.

Rolling Stone reports, “In 2020, online-only store Sweetwater surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s 42-year history. It also served over 1.5 million customers in 2020, up from a million in 2019. CEO Chuck Surack says shipping out 15,000 to 20,000 orders a day was normal for most of the year, resulting in about a 40 percent increase from the previous year. And when “Black Friday stuff picked up” the numbers increased to 22,000 to 24,000 orders a day, peaking at about 30,000.”

Rolling Stone even noted that Guitar Center, which announced they would be filing Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court in November, reported impressive sales increases.

“While Guitar Center doesn’t share exact revenue figures, its chief marketing and communications officer Jeannine Davis D’Addario says Guitar Center’s online business has ‘been booming as consumers visit significantly more frequently, with sales up substantially in most categories compared to 2019,'” reported Rolling Stone. “According to Guitar Center, online sales more than doubled in 2020 when compared to 2019.”

What this means for the future of guitar sales is not currently known, but the biggest trend in 2020’s guitar sales was the large increase of “new customers and beginner musicians” that purchased “beginner instruments at entry price points.” If this means retailers now have a new batch of potential repeat customers, perhaps 2021 could also be another good year.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.