Largest big box retailer in the U.S.

wayne

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As the retail world changes, i,m beginning to change the way i look at purchasing my drum gear. Is Guitar Center the largest big box music store in the U.S.?
I,m also aware of the love for local small, independent, knowledgeable drum shops that we love to support, but is there any approval or acceptance for mass retailers in the drum business?...It seems the giants in the industry feel that there is.
 
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hsosdrum

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I show approval and acceptance with my wallet: Every drum, cymbal*, piece of hardware, drumhead, drum bag and drumstick I've bought over the past 36 years has been purchased from a drum shop (Professional Drum Shop, Memphis Drum Shop and Valley Drum Shop — now defunct). Last year I did buy one drumhead from Sweetwater because Pro Drum was out of them and not expecting to get any for weeks. I have purchased a few pairs of sticks at Guitar Center, but not within the past 20 or so years.

*I did purchase my 22" K Heavy Ride — which is up on my kit as I type this — at a Guitar Center in 1988.
 

ARGuy

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GC is a small box store. Even the Hollywood Ca store I worked in is not big
In the world of Musical Instrument Retail, which is what we're talking about on this forum, it's considered a big box store. We're not talking about physical size, we're talking about product mix, number of locations and percentage of the market. If you want to talk about number of square feet of each store or one particular store, maybe a commercial real estate forum might pique your interest.
 

mtarrani

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I would love to buy local, but Sweetwater gets almost all of my money because they carry stuff that the locals do not. They do not carry everything that I need, so Amazon and Musician's Friend get a small slice of the pie from me. Among the three I can get just about anything I want. Not so with local stores, and we do have a dedicated drum shop in the area: Daytona Beach Drum Center. I did purchase a kit from them - they carry a variety of those, but they do not carry brushes, nor a wide selection of heads (if they carry them at all), nor cases and other things that I would purchase. There is another local called Total Entertainment in Daytona Beach. Decent prices and if you are a rock drummer you will have reason to patronize them. Otherwise, no. I don't even bother browsing in either place when I am in the area - and I am frequently - because it's fruitless and boring.
 

wayne

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I thought i could smell something funny here....and there he is.
 

73Rogers

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"Fort Wayne-based Sweetwater is marking a major milestone in its more than 40-year history. In a year in which many businesses have struggled as a result of the pandemic, the music instrument and audio gear retailer says it hit more than $1 billion in revenue in 2020.....

The products that are used for stadiums and for concerts are actually the big expensive products. So, we didn't sell mixing consoles and amplifiers and speakers because nobody was touring in 2020 and as that will pick back up, those are high-ticket items that will grow our business quite a bit more," he said. "Even though last year we did $1.1 billion, it was made up of lesser-expensive instruments....

In addition to the growth in revenue, the company also added to its workforce throughout the year with more than 400 new jobs. Sweetwater also expanded its brand new, 480,000-square-foot distribution center by an additional 50,000 square feet over the summer. Sweetwater currently employs some 2,000 workers."

Meanwhile, Guitar Center has recently emerged from bankruptcy re-organization.
 

blueshadow

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While I guess Sweetwater is considered big box I don't consider it as a negative like I do GC (or Walmart for that matter) I try to shop local as much as possible but I have to admit this last year and half I've bought a lot from Sweetwater....the plus side is I have enough candy for Halloween this year to not have to go to Walmart and buy any :)
 

cworrick

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When Sweetwater is only 15 minutes from my place, not only am I buying/supporting local, but I'm also buying from the big box.

btw
The "big box" of Sweetwater just got bigger - their new warehouse is ENORMOUS!!!
 

lossforgain

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If I’m not mistaken GC owns Music 123, Musicians Friend and Woodwinds & Brasswinds. That is huge.
And Music & Arts Centers, and SheetMusicPlus. I think if all that is taken into account they would have to be the biggest outfit in MI retail.
 

Deafmoon

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"Fort Wayne-based Sweetwater is marking a major milestone in its more than 40-year history. In a year in which many businesses have struggled as a result of the pandemic, the music instrument and audio gear retailer says it hit more than $1 billion in revenue in 2020.....

The products that are used for stadiums and for concerts are actually the big expensive products. So, we didn't sell mixing consoles and amplifiers and speakers because nobody was touring in 2020 and as that will pick back up, those are high-ticket items that will grow our business quite a bit more," he said. "Even though last year we did $1.1 billion, it was made up of lesser-expensive instruments....

In addition to the growth in revenue, the company also added to its workforce throughout the year with more than 400 new jobs. Sweetwater also expanded its brand new, 480,000-square-foot distribution center by an additional 50,000 square feet over the summer. Sweetwater currently employs some 2,000 workers."

Meanwhile, Guitar Center has recently emerged from bankruptcy re-organization.
Their Free Shipping policy and customer follow up is great!
 

6topher

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From what I understand Sweetwater is pretty good & I know GC is like a catalogue in person...a half filled catalogue...with everything all beat to hell by lunchtime drummers. Drum Factory Direct, while not a 'big box' is probably the best online presence

But, I hope most folks are lucky enough to have an independent drum shop close to them.

I'll spend a 1/2 hour or more sometimes looking for a lug replacement for someone's 1992 Rockstar kit or something, clean it up & put it on & wipe down the drum while I have the head off, put a drop or 2 of 3in1 oil on each tension rod & tune the drum...all on the spot if we're not slammed....and charge them $3 or $7 bucks for the lug.

I'm not sure, but I don't think you can order that online.

Come visit me anytime at Baltimore Drum Company in Towson Maryland, ask for Chris & let me know you are a dfo'er. Be cool to meet you & show you our junk

******The opinions expressed on drumforum.org by the screen persona of '6topher' represent only his weird opinions and in no way shape or form reflect the official opinion of baltdrumco or Mr. KL.*******
 
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6topher

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Had a Baltimore snare drum way back when, same Co? Wish I was closer sounds like a neat shop.
Yeah. Keith Larsen is the owner. And he's still quietly building the best sounding custom drums in the country imo. This year is the 35th anniversary of Baltimore Drums. Almost entirely made in the USA, mainly Baltimore. most everything designed by Keith. 1 piece Aircraft aluminum lugs never fail and are so light the shells resonate beautifully. He won't tell me about his edges,lol.

Baltimore-Drum-Multi-4.jpg


Edit: Sorry for the commercial?
 
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wayne

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Nice drums, thx for the heads up. I think im going to do a little snooping around...They look good!!!
 


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