Enlarge Jackson wall of guitars.

Don’t Worry, The Guitar Industry Is Just Fine


Ever since Gibson tanked earlier this month, there’s been some clamor from the people who think that news marks the end of the guitar industry as we know it. However, a report from IBISWorld, which keeps track of guitar manufacturing in the U.S., concluded that the industry is actually growing steadily and is projected to do so until at least 2022. You can put your pitchforks down.

Fender CEO Andy Mooney commented:

“There’s very, very healthy growth in the guitar market. From our perspective, the industry has actually never been in better shape. People are focusing on the Gibson situation which has nothing to do with guitars. For Gibson, the problem child has been everything else.”

“Everyting else” being poor product design, failed attempts at producing consumer electronics, and general douchebaggery from their CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. TL;DR: Gibson’s failure does not equal less demand for guitars.

If you’re still not convinced, there’s more data to back this up. Rolling Stone noted that there was a 10% increase in Gibson’s electric guitar sales between January 2017 and January 2018, and the National Association of Music Merchants reported that 2.7 million guitars were sold in the US last year, which is up 300,000 from 2009.

But then why are physical guitar stores faring so poorly? As one could assume, it probably has a lot to do with online purchases, which Fender estimates to be as much as 50% of their overall sales. Additionally, though the guitar manufacturers may be doing well, that may not be the case for guitar retailers, who have to compete with online markets like Amazon, according IBISWorld research analyst Robert Miles.

While the guitar industry is hanging on for now, it’s up to both manufacturers and vendors to look to the future and adapt accordingly. Mooney concluded:

“We are going after younger consumers. We decided, when I joined, that we needed to pick up the pace of product innovation, to abandon names of the past and invest in names of the future.”

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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