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Music Retail: Record Stores Have to Diversify in Order to Survive

Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, a trade group, said that specialized music retailers have diversified well beyond merely fiddling with their physical footprint. Many have altered the shape of their entire company and shifted into whole new areas of business. “These overarching strategic plans look at how a company can change the overall offering and still touch the music,” Mr. Donio said. In 2008, Best Buy, the national electronics retailer, began dipping its toe into the world of musical instruments. By late March of this year, the company had opened its 99th and 100th musical instrument departments, at its new stores in Upper Manhattan and in Flushing, Queens. At the store in Upper Manhattan, customers can select from 45 acoustic guitars, which are kept in a closed, climate-controlled room, ranging from a $99.99 Squier guitar to a $3,999.99, six-string Taylor. (And two ukuleles). Along the red wall facing the customers when they enter the department hang about 80 electric guitars and bass guitars, in a similar range of prices. DJ equipment lines another wall. So far, said Candace Hoyte, a supervisor at the Manhattan store, the instruments have drawn a steady stream of attention, especially from children. They skip past the video game stations and head straight for the instruments, banging away at Roland electronic drums or tapping on one of the dozen or so keyboards, she said. Best Buy’s shift into instruments is just one attempt at a solution. Other major music retailers, like Wal-Mart Stores, have simply shifted some of the space they used for CDs to other adjacent departments where sales remained brisk. [NYTimes] _______________________________________________________________________ Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.]]>

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