IMRA and MSO Merge, “Not a Buyer’s Group”…The directors of MusicStoreOwners.com (MSO), a forum for independent music merchants, and the directors of the Independent Music Retailers Association (IMRA) have merged to become the IMRA/MSO Coalition. The combined membership of the two organizations is 250 independent community-based music industry retailers, and the group projects that number to grow to 800 by 2009 Winter NAMM show.
MMR Checks in With Five MI Outlets That Opened Within the Past Five Years: Fat Tone, Auburn Music Group, Big Bang Music Center, Double D Music, Notable Music
St. Louis-Based Wholesaler Has Big Plans in Mind…Don’t tell Mark Ragin about tough times in the music instrument business. “Every year for us has been a record year,” U.S. Band’s president and CEO says. “Last year sales were up 28 percent, and this year, just the first three months, they were 30 percent above that. So for us this is the best of times.”
Modest Increase Shows Net Gain of 23 Store Fronts…For the past decade, the music product dealer store count has continued a pattern of gains and losses in alternating years. Along this same pathway there has been a net gain of 23 outlets for the twelve month period from June, 2007 to the present day. The modest .029 percent increase has inched total store count to slightly under the 8,000 (7980). Since 1998, total dealer counts have varied from a plus 2.9 percent in 2001 to a minus 3.7 percent in 2004. Overall there has a marked decline of more than 400 outlets. While brick and motor for the independent and chain dealer has decreased, overall industry volume has grown based on a number of factors including higher retail prices, emergence of big box music product departments, and sales on internet-only sites, as well as e-Bay and Amazon sales.