Fender on Track for Biggest Sales Year Ever in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic might be the cause
Fender on Track for Biggest Sales Year Ever in 2020
Photo: Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
Guitar sales are way up in 2020, and it seems it's likely because people are bored at home in isolation.

Fender brand guitars in particular have seen a massive surge in popularity this summer, with the company having broken all-time sales records only halfway through the year. As a result of everyone's creative juices flowing, the brand is on track to have its best year ever in the books.

"We've broken so many records," chief executive of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Andy Mooney told The New York Times. "It will be the biggest year of sales volume in Fender history, record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales and beginner gear sales. I never would have thought we would be where we are today if you asked me back in March."

And it's not just Fender — other companies have seen massive growth this year as well.

"We just had the biggest June, in terms of orders received, that we've ever had since we've been in business," Taylor Guitars co-founder Kurt Listug told NYT. "Guitars hit the stores now, they unbox them, and they're gone."

Listug also noted that in June and July alone, the company fulfilled half the amount of orders projected for the entirety of the year. These numbers come after a 40 percent decrease in sales back in March, right after the pandemic — and the resulting economic fallout — hit North America hard.

Meanwhile, James Curleigh, the chief executive of Gibson Brands told NYT that during 2020, the company "literally couldn't deliver enough," in contrast to Gibson's file for bankruptcy back in 2018.

"In a world of digital acceleration, time is always your enemy," he noted. "All of a sudden time became your friend."

Curleigh cites the Maslow hierarchy of needs as a possible model to explain the surge in sales.

"First we were figuring out the basic essentials — where to buy toilet paper, making sure you were isolated in quarantine," he explained. "Then the psychological reset hit. People said, 'Well, I can still self-actualize, I can still self-fulfill.'"