Published on September 28th, 2012 | by Daniel0
Death of Music on the High Street?
Despite all the doom and gloom on the high street, there are certain sectors of music retail which are doing very well. Read on for more details…
We all remember buying our first record as a child in outlets such as Woolworths or HMV. For today’s kids and teenagers, going into a music shop with your pocket money and coming away with a cardboard sleeve containing a black vinyl disc is a totally alien concept. In a few short years, we have progressed through records, cassettes, CDs and finally to the digital download. Estimates vary, but it is thought that as much as 98% of all single sales are by digital download and the figure for album sales is rising year on year.
Large music retailers such as HMV have long been aware of the changing way in which we buy music, and have diversified from offering just music to also selling video games, concert tickets and related merchandise. They also have a strong online business which can compete with other purely internet based retailers such as Amazon. Despite this, the high street music shop continues to struggle. Zavvi, formerly Virgin, went into administration in 2008, and sales at other retailers continue to decline.
Despite the fact that the big boys of the retail industry are struggling, some of the specialist music shops are doing far better. They have realized that trying to take on the digital download companies in the mass market is pretty much impossible, and are therefore succeeding by concentrating on a specific niche of the market, whether that be classical music, rock, pop or indie. Successful stores have members of staff who are passionate and knowledgeable about music, and who can advise and make recommendations to customers. They can help you find that 12” single you played as a teenager, and can help you discover new bands who are to your taste.
Stores which sell instruments have not been hit so hard as the stores selling CDs and other recordings, given that most people buying a new instrument will want to touch, feel and play it before making the investment. The advice and expertise which can be got from this sort of music shop cannot be matched by even the best internet site and this seems unlikely to change in the near future. As well as selling the instruments, most good stores have a vast stock of items such as sheet music, accessories for musical instruments, music stands and many more music related items. These stores will continue to survive for as long as they can offer instrument learners and enthusiasts something different from what they can get online and the key to this is a supply of educated and knowledgeable staff, who can engage with the customers and really explain what they are buying.
Rent Instead of Buying?
Some switched on retailers have recognized the fact that customers may wish to rent instruments instead of buying them. This makes sense, as especially professional musicians may wish to play different instruments at different gigs, so it makes sense to rent instead of buying. This trend for renting musical instruments has been carried over into the beginners sector as well, because those wishing to try out a new instrument may wish to ‘try before buying’ – renting out gives this opportunity at low cost.
If you’re looking for instrument rental in Buckinghamshire then Westmount Music is your first choice. Crammed with all the instruments you will ever need, this shop offers everything for the serious musician.