Post-lockdown Retail experiences from around the world


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!