Post-lockdown Retail Experiences in the UK

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The MIA continues to network with music retailers across the country, and we wanted to bring you the first experiences of UK music shops in their first few days of re-opening to the public… 

Largely, our music shops have had a successful first few weeks of trading and have started to adapt and adjust to the new normal.

Here are some of the key trends that we have seen:

  • Town locations are busier than city centres; people don’t seem to be travelling too far from home or going for a ‘day-out’ to visit the shops.
  • Shops have fewer customers than usual, but the customers that do visit are very purposeful – a much higher percentage are now buying, often having done research while stores were closed or in advance online.
  • Starter instrument and accessories are very popular at the moment.
  • Having said that, acoustic pianos are being sold!
  • All products involved with home-recording of music remain at an all-time high.
  • Shorter opening hours are working well and ensure that staff are travelling outside of peak rush hour.
  • Extra safety and cleaning measures are very much appreciated by both staff and customers.
  • Shops that are booking appointments are seeing very little ‘no-shows’ from customers, and a high percentage of the people that have booked an appointment are making purchases. Some stores are personalising the visit for each customer by finding out what their interests are before they arrive. This minimises the risk of potential stock contamination as the staff can ensure that the right selection of instruments for that particular customer are available and out on the shop floor.
  • Some stores have re-started their piano tuning service in customer’s homes/premises and have had a steady flow of customers, however there is definitely a reduced demand as there is a significant proportion of customers not wanting to have a tuner in their home or indeed venues that have no need for an in-tune piano!
  • Some retailers in the UK say that their main source of income is from instrument hire to film sessions, theatres, concerts, festivals etc., so until the live music and performance sector is up and running, they will obviously do signifcantly less business
  • Many retailers commented that the complete shutdown of the arts industry. with universities and conservatoires closed, is reducing the normal footfall that they would expect. The MIA will continue to lobby with our partners for the safe re-opening of the wider music industry.

We will of course continue to bring you information, support and updates to help you with retailing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reminder! Music Retail during COVID-19: MIA Live Event – Tomorrow at 10:30am

Tomorrow, the MIA will bring you a live, question time style event with a panel of relevant experts. This virtual event will be a forum for discussion about the experiences had so far by retailers, and experts will be answering the key questions that have come up during the first few weeks of trading.

Find out more and register here: www.mia.org.uk/this-wednesday-music-retail-during-covid-19-mia-live-event