In a move that could potentially change the music industry, a number of Best Buy retail locations now sell musical instruments. The nation’s leading consumer electronics retailer sells guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and recording equipment along with other musical accessories.
“The introduction of musical instruments is a natural progression for Best Buy,” said Steve Hehir, senior vice president of musical instruments, in a company press release. “Consumers have always looked to us as a resource for music in a variety of formats. Now they’ll be able to rely on us for help with musical performance and creating too.”
For those looking to start from scratch, the chain will also offer private guitar lessons and group classes taught by professionals. “Whether they’re just learning to play or have been playing for years, customers can trust the knowledge and expertise of our trained musical instrument specialists,” said Kevin Balon, vice president of musical instruments in a company press release. “Our musical instrument specialists can help anyone find the perfect instrument.”
The store-within-a-store was tested in seven locations throughout 2008 and expanded to more than 75 stores in the second half of the year. A selection of products, including virtual music lessons, is also available for order on the store’s website.
According to a company spokesperson, Best Buy currently has no plans to expand the musical instrument division or to include wind or orchestral string instruments. The long-term effect of this expansion is yet to be seen, but it could potentially hurt local music stores that are struggling in the current economic downturn.