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long and McQuade
Jack Long often recounts how long and McQuade Musical Instruments was one of Canada’s most prestigious specialist retailers. The modest Toronto native has an eerie smile when he talks about how his small business began in the tiny two-story home he built in 1956 and has expanded nationwide.
Long Thinks as a trumpet staccato. A former jazz fan and professional has witnessed numerous things within the genre of art he has enjoyed since the age of a child. Hip-hop, rock & roll, and other genres of the time, have specific product needs. long and McQuade is the most reliable Canadian source. Long, a recipient of the 2014 Order of Canada recipient, states that he’s had luck; however, his accomplishment results from common sense, intuition, and charitable giving.
How much larger can you expand with 62 stores in Canada?
The possibility of opening 100 stores, at all. At present, there are only two stores in Quebec which means that there is room to expand. There are locations left within Toronto where the store could be a hit. We plan to open a second store in Ottawa with the potential for another.
As a chain with a huge size, do you have the potential to drive small independent shops?
Our strategy has yet to find a city with three music shops looking to acquire customers. If someone stated, “I want to retire” or “I want to be part of a larger company like Long and McQuade because doing everything on my own is extremely difficult,” we’ve always stepped into a smaller market. In the end, we took control of these markets. Many independents joined us, and most are very enthusiastic about this.
Do all your shops part of the business?
Yes. Our business model is different from other types of business models, and therefore, franchising is not a viable option. This is in complete contradiction to normal good.
What is the business model?
We keep a perspective from the cradle to the grave of our clients. Most musicians identify themselves as musicians for their lives. In many cases, the children of both parents themselves are musicians. Children may be taught piano when they were children and later join an ensemble at school and then an ensemble in high school.
They may purchase an acoustic instrument at the age of twenty. Later, when they reach their twenties, they can become a fan of high-end guitars. Long and McQuade intend to interact with them throughout. Consequently, we frequently do not care about producing a large scale.
How can you draw these loyal customers back to your shops?
One of the things that we try to accomplish is hosting occasions at our facilities, regardless of whether it’s a weekend performance or a demonstration. These events aim to promote sales rather than attract customers to our establishment. They increase customer loyalty.
Did you notice any significant shifts with the items you sell through time?
Home recording is just one field that has been affected the most. Prices have drastically dropped. It affected us a bit when we would sell recording equipment worth $100,000, accounting for an important part of our revenue. You need to understand the implications of this. The company could charge $200 to the client’s laptop computer account. He could then purchase a couple of microphones.
Are you still selling brass and woodwind group instruments?
Long and McQuade varies in different areas of the nation. There are always school boards with cuts to their budget or someone responsible for the school who decides music is optional, and they’ll stop all music programs.
Various studies have proven that music can make the brain more intelligent. Many people know the importance of music as an element of education. Although this hasn’t helped each band’s program, it has made many of them go when someone attempts to cut off a band, the people have a voice and protest and then bring it back.
Are baby boomers in their 60s who used to be part of ensembles purchasing high-end guitars?
This certainly happens. It is a common misconception that guitar players have twelve instruments. It’s because every instrument is unique. When you own one, it isn’t easy to sell it. It’s creating an endless market.
China produces a variety of instruments that could be more high-quality, right?
While China makes several instruments, they are manufactured in other countries. We manufacture Acoustic systems.
Price is one of many important factors in assessing a product’s longer duration. Many guitar players have a history of 50 years. Many people want an exceptional electric guitar they will keep for the rest of their lives. It is best to avoid cheap items. If you buy a guitar with poor playability and need help tuning the instrument. I’m interested in playing every instrument we have in store.
What proportion of your business comprises rentals?
It’s about 11%; however, it is more because individuals often rent products before making purchases. It also produces a large quantity of old equipment.
Since your beginnings in the retail industry, have you noticed any significant changes?
Our financial program has been an important aspect of our company. It differs from the vast majority of credit card loans since we manage it all ourselves, making it much more adaptable.
Is it different?
Large credit card firms have strict policies. They are no longer able to deal with weak athletes.As artists, musicians have a different view of time. We are okay with late payments. If customers have bought with us over the years, we are sure they’ll continue making payments. Are your parents still active in the company he left for you in the past 19 years?
Long and McQuade is still a family business. Does that provide you with a substantial advantage?
Positively, there is no pressure being put on us.
There aren’t any stockholders who insist that our shares rise or we earn higher profits. We make the necessary decisions to ensure the operation is smooth for the company, but we don’t care about increasing our profit. Furthermore, we own a significant portion of our real property, making us a good investment.
How long have the McQuades been in the Long and McQuade?
Yes, ever since 1963. In the 1970s, my father’s former friend, Jack McQuade, passed away and died. The couple had kids, which we visit occasionally; however, they weren’t associated with the Long and McQuade which are also called Ontario music stores, so our connection with them is mostly social.