WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA, August 3, 2007 - The Woodwind & Brasswind (WWBW), a leading musical instrument retailer, has begun celebrating its 30th year of innovation and service. The company, founded in 1978, has grown into one of the largest musical instrument retail operations in the world. In the process, the company pioneered many customer care strategies that have become widely accepted within this and other industry sectors. The key to WWBW’s success has always been providing customers with an extremely knowledgeable sales staff of musicians offering unparalleled service and support. Other innovations include stocking many hard-to-find products; computer-controlled automation to manage inventory and assure fast, accurate delivery; and a retail design that offers a huge array of products under one roof. WWBW was acquired in early 2007 by Guitar Center, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTRC), who provided its extensive resources that enables The Woodwind & Brasswind to continue its ongoing expansion.
One of the fundamental innovations of WWBW was the fact that it targeted and nurtured a lasting relationship with music educators, especially those who work with school bands and orchestras. Since many members of the WWBW organization are musicians themselves and have an extensive background in music education, it was easy for them to understand that these scholastic music organizations are actually extended families, comprised of school band directors, the students themselves, and their parents. This unique awareness of the dynamics of the school orchestra and band culture, as well as a commitment to stock and sell the most comprehensive possible array of brasswind, woodwind and stringed instruments and accessories, gives WWBW the leading position among music educators nationally. Additionally, the company has forged solid relationships with all of the musical instrument manufacturers, which in turn, provides a platform for regular training and factory visits by the WWBW staff. This interaction allows the WWBW team of professionals to have the most up-to-the-minute information on products which they can then impart to their customers. Finally, WWBW pioneered catalog sales of musical instruments, and today, the company’s catalog is considered the definitive product reference guide in the industry. Among other sales strategies that WWBW developed was the concept of a “store within a store,” which precisely targets specific affinity groups by more narrowly defining product offerings for them and catering to the special needs of each group within the context of the larger store and by creating specialized catalogs for each group. For example, WWBW’s Lyons catalog focuses on the needs of the general music teacher at the elementary school level. Other catalog categories the Custom Select catalog for high-end instruments and Inspirational Pro Audio/Video for the house-of-worship market.
The Woodwind & Brasswind is an industry leader and trendsetter that helped change the face of modern MI retailing and in the process gave enhanced status to the role of the educator in music. 30 years later, The Woodwind & Brasswind continues to serve the needs of an important part of the country’s music community.