This category covers establishments primarily engaged in the retail sales of musical instruments, sheet music, and similar supplies.
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores
In 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 4,358 establishments engaged in the retail sales of musical instruments, sheet music, and similar supplies. Total employees numbered 34,142 people with an annual payroll of $765.9 million The total number of establishments increased to 10,443 in 2003, and there were 40,034 people employed within the industry. The annual sales totaled $4.8 billion, with the average sales per establishment generating about half a million. The majority of musical instrument stores were concentrated in California with 1,335, Texas with 687, New York with 646, Florida with 580, Pennsylvania with 438, and Illinois with 413. Combined, these firms controlled more than 40 percent of the market.
Musical instrument stores represented the majority of the market, with 7,285 stores comprising more than 69 percent of the overall marketplace. Stores retailing pianos numbered 1,218 and accounted for more than 11 percent of the market. There were a total of 713 stores engaged in the sale of sheet music, 359 stores retailing string instruments, 375 selling organs, 156 selling keyboard instruments, 121 dealing in percussion instruments, 98 retailing band instrument, 93 retailing wind instruments, and 25 selling brass instruments.
According to a study by Music Trade magazine, sales in this industry increased at an annual rate of 7 percent during the 1990s. Following a slack market in the 1980s, the industry evolved into a $6 billion dollar trade by 1999. Electronic instruments, particularly keyboards and electric guitars, generated nearly a quarter of all musical instrument sales.
Musical instrument retailers cater to a wide consumer base, ranging from parents of student musicians to professional performers. In general, the industry is dominated by independent family-run businesses. Some firms in this industry succeed within a limited niche, such as sales to schools and senior citizen groups. Industry analysts predicted several prime areas of growth in retail sales of musical instruments as the 20th century drew to a close. Among the rising markets were sales of student pianos and band instruments, which were expected to increase in accordance with the annual 1.2 percent increase of the number of...