Our newest dealer for Pickboy, Dr J and Mooer, KC Music, opened on October 4th with a big party, seven bands, prizes, guest appearances and so on. We asked the owner, Mark Ballard some questions about why he decided to get into MI retail.
You just opened a store so you must think the future of MI retailing is looking up. Have you had experience working in MI retail? Would you share some of your thoughts with us?
I have never been in retail, not one second in my entire life – so I have no history to base my opinions on, just wild-eyed, naive enthusiasm. I have been told that I am insane to be be opening a B&M store period, but I believe I have a better idea. Once we get our store open and figure out a few more things we will begin lessons. We have five lesson rooms and lots of applicants for instructor positions. Our ace in the hole is our group/performance program that will commence in March once my non-compete contract is satisfied with School of Rock, LLC. At that point I am opening The KC Blues Academy, ,The KC Country Music Academy and KC Rock University, all performance based programs that will maximize revenue. Individual lessons will be given in the store and group rehearsals will be held off-site because they are loud. The students’ discounted purchases will help the retail end survive the internet and GC who is opening a location about five miles away next year. I dislike them very much for the way they have treated friends of mine (former employees) and for the way they treated me during my 10 years at School of Rock
Why do you think Pickboy, Mooer and Dr J will do well at your store?
I am hoping that Mooer and Dr. J will be big sellers and I will be touting their compact, tru-bypass attributes and their affordability. Pickboy will be a snap to sell, I imagine I will be ordering more after Black Friday. Great stocking stuffers for the guitarist who things he or she has everything.
Biggest challenge for your KC Music for this year and beyond?
Our biggest challenge is making sure that *we never let down in terms of promotion and in-store events* (we have a cool stage, PA and backline permanently installed, we can also multi-track from the stage with a flip of a switch and a couple clicks on our computer) and seeking publicity opportunities. I am very good at this aspect of the business, so part of my focus will be there *every single day.*