Can America ‘Make’ Again?

Companies continue to find ways to make products here at home…and to do so profitably. Given The Retailer’s deep and abiding belief in U.S.A.-made products, we trumpet that message every October in our annual “Born In The U.S.A.” story. Here, we spotlight prominent, successful MI companies that are making American manufacturing work.

Telling It Like It Is

Last month, our Independent Retailer Roundtable participants discussed a multitude of issues that are relevant to your brick-and-mortar music products retail business. This month, we proudly present part two. They broach the subject of factory-direct sales, competing against GC and Amazon, and the value of MAP policies in the music products industry.

The Beat Is On

This month, to mark our annual Drums & Percussion Issue, we’ve convened a group of respected executives from within the percussion category, asking them to put on their analyst hat. What trends are dominating the segment? Are artists the guiding force in determining what drummers want? How can brick-and-mortar retailers best sell percussion products?


Five Minutes With

For Jim Cavanaugh, President of Super-Sensitive Musical String Co., one of two brands under the umbrella of The Cavanaugh Company, carrying on the family business is a continual source of inspiration. In this extended interview, Cavanaugh discusses how his family came to acquire the brands, where they sit in the marketplace and what makes his operation different, as well as his commitment to the dealer channel.

Mission Report

MI Spy

Recently, the MI Spy’s family and he visited Daytona Beach FL to spend some time together, frolic at the beach, visit nearby theme parks…and shop for a student trumpet. Our super sleuth discovered that the area is quite a haven for guitar retailers, but it has somewhat fewer establishments that sell band instruments. The mission report is enclosed.


Special To The Retailer

According to Maxwell’s House of Music’s Mike McAfee, a smaller, brick-and-mortar music store should build on its team’s personalities and its uniqueness as a business to differentiate itself from the big-box competition.

Shine A Light

Jesse McNamara’s history with Ohio music retail spans most of his life. So, when the opportunity came about to open his own music store, Music Royale, he knew exactly what type of place he wanted to run.

Retailer Rebel

Gabriel O’Brien is keenly interested in where retail is going, the direction of the MI business, and new technologies and trends. This month, he does some “trendspotting.”

Business & Marketing

Demonstrating strong expertise about the products you stock is crucial to creating a positive customer experience and building faith and trust with the customer. David Hall discusses how improved product knowledge can increase your sales.


Dan Vedda believes that the music products industry can be positioned to win and grow, provided that dealers play to their strengths and leverage the vast majority of humans’ wired-in desire to make music.

Under The Hood

As any savvy businessperson will tell you, an underserved market segment can equal increased profits for a brand that fills the niche. That truism was the inspiration behind Ludwig Drums’ Evolution drum set.

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