In news that may not come as a surprise, people are buying a whole damn lot of guitars in lockdown this year. So many in fact, that brands like Fender have broken records for sales.
So while the live industry continues to suffer with most touring grinding to a halt (although we are starting to see something of a comeback), demand for guitars has absolutely skyrocketed.
New York Times reports that Gibson is doing pretty well, and so have Martin and Taylor.
But it’s Fender that budding guitarists have turned to in lockdown more than anyone else, a result that Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Andy Mooney, says he didn’t see coming.
“I would never have predicted that we would be looking at having a record year,” he said.
“We’ve broken so many records. It will be the biggest year of sales volume in Fender history, record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales and beginner gear sales.
“I never would have thought we would be where we are today if you asked me back in March.”
Fender’s Fender Play app has helped to boost numbers, with users of the app rising from 150,000 to 930,000 between late March and late June.
It probably helped that in March, Fender announced the app (usually $9.99 a month) would be available for free in the form of a three-month subscription.
According to the Times, the resurgence ins being led by young adults and teenagers, with a significant portion of them being female.
Brendan Murphy of online instrument store Sweetwater said that demand has been so crazy for both guitars and other instruments that “every day” feels like Black Friday.
“I’ve been in the instrument retail business for 25-plus years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
Guitar Centre usually sells most of its products in his 296 giant retail showrooms, but was forced to close all but three of those stores.
It hasn’t affected sales in a negative way though, with Senior VP of Guitar Merchandising Michael Doyle revealing triple-digit sales growth for most top guitar brands on their website.