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Third-quarter data shows consumers have begun returning to storefronts.

Just Released: 3Q 2020 Retail Sales Report

Overall sales drop 9.2%, largely driven by plummeting school music sales.


A COMBINATION OF product supply shortages, the expiration of the government's supplemental $600 weekly unemployment insurance program, and collapsing sales of school music instruments contributed to a 9.2% sales decline for music stores in the U.S. for the latest three-month period ending September 30. For the latest 90-day period, overall retail sales totaled $1,749,488,000, down from $1,927,296,000 in the same period one year ago. During the first nine months of the year, total retail sales have fallen 10.6% to $4,308,561,000, compared to $4,821,494,000 in 2019. Results from reporting dealers indicate that the surge in online buying eased somewhat during the third quarter as customers began to return to storefronts.

To help manufacturers and retailers better navigate a disrupted marketplace, Music Trades has assembled a comprehensive 18-page analysis detailing sales trends for the third quarter in the U.S. music products marketplace. Data includes quarterly year-over-year sales for 16 different product categories; first ever breakouts of online vs. in-store purchases; as well as 5-year historical sales comparisons.

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