It should come to no surprise that it's currently an incredibly weird trading period for a lot of music retailers out there. Even with the streets empty, shops around the country are selling pro-audio equipment at a frenzied rate to keep up with the demand of every budding musician looking to escape interior-induced boredom, with some coming up with cunning strategies to ensure their trade thrives throughout this period. To check in on how music retail is handling the corona curveball, we're shining the spotlight on five different shops here in Melbourne who are taking social distancing measures seriously and the tricks they've employed to do successfully.
Overflowing with some of the finest vintage and used gear on the market and boasting an awe-inspiring interior, Found Sound is essentially a minor tourist attraction in Carlton for any local or visiting musician. They've currently closed their doors to the public to adhere to social distancing measures, but that's not stopping Found Sound from slowing down: they're currently offering click and collect and local delivery for all Melbourne orders, as well as free shipping Australia wide for all new products over $200.
If you are desperate to consign a guitar or buy that vintage synth you've been eyeing off online, Found Sound are also taking appointment viewings, so get in touch with them if you're absolutely busting. They're also continuing to repair instruments if you're in dire need of a setup, and we hear that they're pretty keen on sanitizer, which is always a good thing.
Echo Tone Music
Echo Tone might be one of the best kept secrets in the inner North - they've got a killer mix of vintage and new stock, and the staff are some of the friendliest you'll ever meet in a music shop. As of April 1, they've closed their doors to the public and are operating online and by appointment, with home delivery being provided to those living local. If you're browsing online from interstate, don't fret - Echo Tone also offer $95 flat rate shipping nationwide.
If you've checked out Echo Tone's social media, you'll know these guys love an aesthetic gear snap, and it should come to no surprise they're also hosting their own isolation photo competition. They're offering a Danelectro Eisenhower Fuzz pedal to whoever wins, so make sure you get your snaps in soon!
After being acquired by the NSW retailer in July last year, GH Music changed their name and began trading under Macron Music at the start of March - just as COVID-19 was starting to wreck havoc in the retail sector. Until further restrictions are enforced, their Flemington store has decided to keep its doors open while adhering to strict social distancing measures, including enforcing space restrictions, regularly disinfecting surfaces and dishing out hand sanitizer like crazy to all their customers.
Macron Music has always had a pretty strong online presence, and their web store is operating as per usual for anyone who needs gear shipped to their door. If you've got any questions, hit them up - their customer service tends to be excellent.
Despite being the South East's premier destination for guitars, drums and keys, Sky Music made the difficult decision to shut their showroom to the public as of last week. Don't fret, however: they're still working around the clock answering emails, phone calls and messenger inquiries, and are notoriously good at manning the socials.
Sky Music are also offering free same/next day delivery on all orders in the Melbourne metropolitan area, which is a super convenient way to get your hands on gear as soon as possible while still supporting your favourite local retailer. For those rock dogs based in the South East, you can get in touch with Sky Music to arrange a shopfront pickup for any product. We've also heard that their interstate online trade is booming right now.
For all things boutique, bespoke and bourgeoisie, Deluxe Guitars simply cannot be beaten. The Southbank outlet have had their doors shut to the public since March 20, and are only operating on an online basis, which means there's no storefront pick up option available for locals unfortunately. However, they're still burning the midnight oil to get all your online orders out and are manning the phones around the clock, so don't hold back if you've got any questions. Also, check out their Instagram for some fresh pedal-related content - there's plenty of it.
Deluxe Guitars also run a pretty busy backline hire service, and it should come to no surprise that their business was heavily impacted by all the recent tour cancellations. These guys all give an awful lot to the music community, and to see them go under in this time would absolutely suck, so if you're in need of anything, be sure to check out their online stock and swing them a message.
Check out our Directory for more hot tips on Australia's best music retailers.