Fender partners with B.C. music store for new experience

Fender released a new shopping experience for guitar connoisseurs

Gone are the days of shopping for a new guitar in a dark music store; Fender has released a new retail experience.

Wentworth Music’s Kelowna location is one of two stores in Canada to partner with the famous guitar company.

“We understand the long term of what needs to happen and inspire musicians, and Fender has really hit the nail on the head,” said Dale Wentworth, founder and owner of Wentworth Music. “A lot of stores look look like a pawn shop. But this (display) is really bright.”

Wentworth Music has been family owned and operated for 50 years and has watched their competition fall from 12 stores to now one.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and there are a lot of family members that are involved in the business that put in unpaid hours. Because we are family owned and operated I think that it shows a testament of putting in the effort and not just looking into the benefit,” Wentworth said. “There will always be people who will want to have a guitar and aspire to be a guitar player, or they’ll hang it on the wall in their living room, it’s art for some people.”

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Fender chose their long-time partner in Kelowna to bring a luxury retail shopping experience to musical connoisseurs and novices.

The clean eye-level guitar racks are meant to be more welcoming to customers where they can easily pick up a guitar and try it out without the help of anyone to find the right fit.

“The reason for this program was when we went out into the retail industry there were lots (of guitars) on the walls but not on the floors. We want to maximize space and elevate the product,” said Jessica Hoyt Protheroe, Wentworth Music vice-president of sales.

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Although it has been reported that guitar sales are dropping, from $1.5 million sold annually to just over $1 million annually by Geoff Edgers who covered the guitar industry for the Washington Post.

Fender says that they aren’t going anywhere, with a new app to make learning the guitar easy for those that want to learn. Along with this new experience they say the guitar will always be relevant in a digitally obsessed world.

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