STORES Magazine - March 2008 - (Page 42)

WORTH WATCHING / FIRST LOOK Jazzed Up Digs New Music & Arts Center prototype strikes a more colorful note BY JANET GROEBER A s a merchandise classification, musical instruments and accessories is expected to grow 4 percent annually over the next six years. One of the country’s leading musical instrument retailers has decided to get in step. Music & Arts Center, operator of 100 stores in 20 states, last year opened a 2,500-sq.-ft. prototype in Katy, Texas. The Frederick, Md.-based retailer targets students, parents and music teachers in the market for musical instruments (both sales and rentals) as well as lessons, sheet music and accessories, such as instrument stands and cases. A division of Guitar Center since 2005, Music & Arts’ 2007 sales were estimated at $29.3 million. As a high-service provider, it competes with Chuck Levin’s, Sam Ash and Schmitt Music stores across the country. It turned to JGA, a Southfield, Mich.-based design consultancy, to create a highly graphic environment with enough “cool factor” to inspire its AT A GLANCE aspiring pre-teen rock stars’ interest and still genMusic & Arts Center erate school-focused supKaty, Texas port. Completion: June 23, “One aspect of the new 2007 store that everyone is Size: 2,500 sq. ft. drawn to is how alive it is,” Merchandise: Musisays Emily Reagan, Music cal instrument sales and & Arts Center’s vice presirentals, lessons, sheet dent of marketing, Wheremusic and accessories as existing stores are funcTarget customer: Musicians, students, parents and educators tional, “with slatwall, A-frame fixtures and a grid structure,” the prototype strikes a more colorful and flexible note. Large, bold graphic panels promote the chain’s underlying “Find Your Voice” branding message while serving as a way-finding function for the first-time customer. “Color and graphics give the store a great energy,” Reagan says, “but we chose colors and graphics that are solid and not trendy.” (Think deep reds and golds iconic to band uniforms, with graphics and typefaces that are large, simple and easy to read.) Other seemingly simple touches, such as giving the lesson rooms names like “classical,” “rock” and “jazz” demonstrate “our commitment to all genres of music,” Reagan says. Because Music & Arts works closely with music teachers, it created boutique spaces for the band and orchestra instruments that highlight the variety and depth of product it offers “and reinforces our position with educators.” Architecturally, there’s an open deck ceiling that visually lifts the store. A naturally finished main aisle and lacquerWWW.STORES.ORG 42 STORES / MARCH 2008 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - March 2008

STORES Magazine - March 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Sam’s Club Gets Tough on RFID Stragglers
Athletes for Hire
What Shoppers Think
Goodwill Hunting
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Luxury’s Shrinking Purse
Workplace Law
First Look
Green Retailing
Cosmetic Sales
Inventory Tracking
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - March 2008