How to make music education a crucial and central part of the retail experience to promote sales in-store...
The announcement of the new ‘music hubs’ in England on May 4th began a whole new phase of music education in the UK and one which Britain’s music retailers should be looking to take full advantage of.
The 122 new hubs are drawn from the ranks of many former local authority music services and funding has been allocated on the basis of the numbers of young people in the territory covered by the hub weighted by special economic need.
While many MI retailers have very strong education links – Playsomething, Dawsons, Absolute Music, Chamberlains, Musicroom and Sheehan’s, to name but a few – the education market is still seen by some retailers as difficult to enter.
It is true that becoming involved with education on a big scale can be problematic and smaller shops may not have the staff, time or product range to justify it. There are, however, a number of ways in which even a specialist shop can become involved in its local education community.
The first thing a shop can do is become the natural meeting point for the local teachers, either by offering facilities which teachers can use, such as a room, or if that is not available, simply act as a teachers’ conduit for information.
Music shops should take pro-active steps to find out the details of all their local schools and colleges and actively get to know all the instrumental teachers, whether they teach in schools or not.
Stores should also take advantage of events such as the MIA’s Learn to Play Day, which took place this year on March 31st. 65 music shops took part throughout the UK and something like 10,000 free music lessons took place.
Events such as these drive traffic to stores, create new customers (or re-activate old ones) and help to drive up sales. In a climate where nearly one music shop a week is going out of business, these steps are basic common sense.
Shops can also tap into promotional programmes offered by national organisations such as Rockschool. We have just launched our new Guitar, Bass and Drum syllabus and we offer music shops presentation opportunities that will involve local schools and teachers. If you would like further information, please contact email@example.com.