Post-lockdown Retail experiences from around the world

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The MIA continues to network with our partners all around the world and we wanted to bring you the first experiences of music shops as they begin to re-open. This is all part of helping our UK shops to be in the best possible shape as we enter post-lockdown retailing.

Reminder: This Friday 5th June, the MIA will bring you a live, question time style discussion with a panel of relevant experts. This virtual event will support retailers in the practical and logistical planning for re-opening their businesses to the public. Register for your place here

Firstly, from Amro Music in the USA:

Following the excellent instrument hygiene videos that this shop has made (see link below from our post last week), we had a great talk with the boss, CJ Averwater, about what he had learnt in the first four weeks of post-lockdown trading:

  • Staff must feel as safe as customers, do not under estimate this issue
  • Some customers still want a kerbside service or an appointment service
  • Staff masks are mandatory
  • Not all customers come in with a mask, so the shop has both hand sanitiser AND masks for customers at the entrance
  • Over-communicate everything with staff every day and get as much feedback as possible from them
  • For any “unsure” staff about being at work, ask what would make them more “comfortable”
  • It was noted how many staff had “risen to the challenge” and were displaying future management potential
  • Do everything possible to get an element of fun into the environment, make customers feel safe and at ease!
  • Quarantine repair instruments for up to 36 hours
  • ALL mouthpieces to be wrapped in plastic to convey absolute hygiene
  • Discouragement of customers “having a go” on instruments
  • It is noted that nearly all customers are coming to buy, prepared on what they want in advance
  • Historic undecided customers are now decided!
  • Current 90-100% closure rate
  • Pianos selling at twice last year rate
  • Customers being helped with deferred rental payments, rather than simply returning the instrument
  • A huge amount of work is being put into working with and communicating to music educators through webinars, videos etc

Here is Amro Music’s Video Series on Sanitising Instruments: Wind InstrumentsStringed InstrumentsClarinetTrumpetTromboneFluteSaxophoneFrench Horn.

Secondly from Europe:

  • Trust is a HUGE issue for customers being “happy” to come back into music shops
  • They are expecting very clear evidence that YOU are taking social distancing and hygiene seriously
  • In France, where shops have just re-opened, there are customer expectations that wind mouthpieces will be sealed (ie wrapped) to show that they totally clean
  • June 15 will see some gradual return to live music taking place (safely) in France
  • Spain has just re-opened shops and traffic is slow to start. In addition, there are now 10 people allowed to gather (eg in a music band)
  • Italy reported very few customers coming into shops in the first week
  • They also noted that the customers who did venture into the shop were mainly seeking accessories, rather than instruments
  • Austria re-opened shops in May and noted good sales of digital keys and fretted instruments
  • They also said how poor wind sales were, especially as wind bands were not yet allowed to perform
  • Germany has similar retail experiences to Italy
  • They also noted the problems of re-establishing music in schools as the children return, especially the school bands
  • German concerts are re-starting with up to 100 people maximum
  • The size of orchestra pits is of concern in trying to have orchestras socially distanced!