Sweetwater achieved record 2017 total sales of $619 million, up 22 percent from $507 million in 2016, which was also a record-breaking year.
December 2017 sales came in at $71 million, up 22 percent from December 2016. Black Friday and Cyber Monday both shattered all previous records, the retailer stated.
Sweetwater’s annual total sales increases have ranged from 17.5% to 28% every year since 2010.
The company sold more than 106,000 guitars in 2017, up from 87,000 in 2016. There was significant growth across all product categories, with the biggest percentage increases being in guitars, drums, and keyboards.
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack said, “Our amazing team helped more than 360,000 brand-new, first-time customers purchase the gear to help them achieve their musical dreams. Everyone at Sweetwater is committed to always doing the right thing, whatever that might be, for each customer,” said Chuck Surack, Sweetwater’s founder and president.
Sweetwater also achieved strong employee growth. At the beginning of 2017, Sweetwater had 1,100 employees. As of Jan.1 of this year, the number had increased by 14 percent to 1,255 employees.
Other highlights in the past year included expanding its campus by purchasing 55 adjacent acres of land, for a total of 166 acres. New roads for greater access and safety have been completed. Significant new building projects will begin in mid-2018 and be completed in 2019.
Sweetwater also added a full-time family doctor and RN in an on-site medical clinic and they saw over 1,600 employees and family members at over 2,900 visits in 2017.
Sweetwater’s extremely popular GearFest, the national music industry’s largest free trade show open to the general public, continued to grow in 2017. Attendance was record breaking, with more than 14,000 participants, up 20 percent versus 2016, and with sales up by more than 44 percent over the previous year.
“2017 was an exciting year of growth throughout our company. I am so grateful to our customers, vendor partners and especially our amazing employees for their friendship and loyalty. I am looking forward to a wonderful 2018,” concluded Surack.