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Return of the Mall Piano Store

Posted By: Markyboard

Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/10/19 04:36 PM

Except for the occasional movie I almost never go to shopping malls. But I did have to return something from LL Bean this week and was surprised to see this in the mall:



I wonder if this is a new trend (not really). snax
Posted By: Steve in VA

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/10/19 05:43 PM

Tyson's Corner? I saw that last time I was up in that area. I decided to pass on getting a Steinway as an impulse purchase.
Posted By: LarsHarner

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/10/19 09:15 PM

I used to love those stores - the last one I saw was in Concord Mall in Del maybe early 2000's when I was there. I loved playing the different Organs and Pianos in stores in the late 70's early 80's-influenced me wanting to play in the first place.

Years ago an outlet mall near me had a Sam Ash which was neat.
Posted By: Bone Muskeleton

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/11/19 08:47 AM

Apple Stores only go into better malls, not just any location. Steinway stores are a bit of a copy of the concept Apple started, so this doesn't completely surprise me. That being said, the piano market is completely different than it was when malls had piano and/or organ stores, and Steinway, of all brands, is far from an impulse purchase or anything like that. Still, if Steinway keeps going with this concept, a high-end mall location is as good as any. Here in Houston, the main location for the Steinway store is on a road with some higher-end stuff.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/11/19 08:55 AM

Originally Posted By: LarsHarner
I used to love those stores - the last one I saw was in Concord Mall in Del maybe early 2000's when I was there.


Are you sure it was early 2000's? I remember visiting the Concord Mall back then but don't recall any piano stores. Wilmington Piano had stores in malls but they were gone before the turn of the century.

Posted By: AnalogGuy1

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/11/19 09:02 AM

I would think selling high-end anything in a mall would cheapen the brand's perception. But what do I know - most marketing campaigns don't make any sense to me either.
Posted By: Bone Muskeleton

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/11/19 09:07 AM

Originally Posted By: AnalogGuy1
I would think selling high-end anything in a mall would cheapen the brand's perception. But what do I know - most marketing campaigns don't make any sense to me either.
This is one of the things I was getting to above--it depends on the mall. Some malls have gone upscale and are drawing top brands.
Posted By: Music Bird

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/11/19 02:41 PM

Is that in Tysonís Corner? I saw that store too, they are pretty cool (I got to play one, I feel like every song I listen to from the 60ís and 70ís uses a Steinway in it or the like, but then again, a lot of pianos have a similar tone) but really high end. I remember in a shopping center, they used to have a place called Venus Music where I remember seeing the Korg Triton and Yamaha PSR-3000 and Technics KN7000 everywhere. I also got the kazoos I have from there.
Posted By: Bobadeath

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/12/19 07:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Music Bird
(I got to play one, I feel like every song I listen to from the 60ís and 70ís uses a Steinway in it or the like


Yamaha C7!
Posted By: Docbop

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/12/19 08:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Music Bird
I got to play one, I feel like every song I listen to from the 60ís and 70ís uses a Steinway in it or the like, but then again, a lot of pianos have a similar tone) but really high end.


Mid 70's to early 80's was my days as recording 2nd engineer and working with lots name artists and hanging at a lot of sessions. There were Steinways, but a lot of Yamaha's too and for recording Rock, Funk, Pop, the Yamaha had a clear, bright, punchy sound you could do a lot with in the studio.
Posted By: Raymb1

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 12:07 AM

There are two piano stores near me. One at Dulles Mall and One at the Leesburg Outlets. Last time I was at the Dulles store they had an almost 100 year old Steinway that I wish I could afford. Beautiful piano and beautiful sound.
Posted By: Raymb1

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 12:07 AM

There are two piano stores near me. One at Dulles Mall and One at the Leesburg Outlets. Last time I was at the Dulles store they had an almost 100 year old Steinway that I wish I could afford. Beautiful piano and beautiful sound.
Posted By: Dave Ferris

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 01:29 AM

There are two "Steinway showroom stores" in LA. Pasadena - I've never played a piano in my maybe three visits there that was anything special.

And Beverly Hills/W. LA - In the two times I've been there, it's like visiting a store that carries a completely different line of pianos. I played a D there maybe two and a half years ago that was the only piano in the last 13 years I've played that I'd trade mine for on the spot. Wouldn't think twice about it. It was incredible !

On the last visit, back in Sept. of '18, I played a good four out of maybe eight Bs that I would've gladly taken home.

And now they have a private selection room - for buyers or very serious potential buyers only - just outside of Downtown LA where supposedly they keep the creme of the creme. I heard it rivals the selection room at Steinway Hall in NYC.
Posted By: misterdregs

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 09:55 AM

There was a Yamaha piano store a few years ago on the periphery of a nice open air shopping mall here. It didnít last too long.
Posted By: Outkaster

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 09:59 AM

I have been in that mall. It was a bitch to get to from DC. My daughter goes to Howard University down there. It seemed really upscale.
Posted By: Tombstone88

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 10:09 AM

I live about 5 miles from a very large piano store with a music museum upstairs. They have a couple 9' concert grands one Yamaha and the other I haven't looked at but I believe its a reconditioned Steinway. There are so many baby grands and uprights that it would take an entire day to play them all. The owner used to own 5 stores in the tidewater region of Virginia. This is his last remaining store.
Posted By: zeronyne

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 11:48 AM

There's a Steinway store in an upscale outdoor mall in Indianapolis as well. I've seen a few others across the country recently.

And you guys are right, they are in it for the long tail sale. The pressure sales thing is completely gone, as is the appealing to preventing your kids from becoming a juvenile delinquent. It may not work for other brands, but Steinway is in the sweet spot of massive brand recognition and perception of exclusivity. There are very few brands that have achieved that balance where 99% of people cannot afford or justify a single item that the brand sells, yet it is eminently desired and super ubiquitous. Maybe Ferrari and a few others...

I went in there when I was in Indy for my kids' soccer tournament a few years ago, and I was happy to leave my contact info after a rep spoke with me very pleasantly for about 20 minutes. Every 6 months, I get a very gentle email from her. No pressure, no sales pitch. She obviously has kept very clear notes about our communications...that's something I did even as a sales guy at Guitar Center. It shows a professionalism that is lacking these days. And now that my kids are reaching college-age, I'm actually considering it. So the mall location may actually work in my case...it will take a total of 7 years or so.
Posted By: The Creepy MC

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 12:11 PM

I don't need to go to DC or other Steinway stores. 90 miles from me is a large music store with an impressive customer base of schools and churches, and they have a large display floor of new and restored Steinway pianos.
Posted By: Stokely

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 12:21 PM

Malls in general seem to be dying out here in FL.
Posted By: Docbop

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 12:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Stokely
Malls in general seem to be dying out here in FL.


Sadly Brick and Mortar stores everywhere are dying. A lot of the chain stores still open are mainly distribution points for their online business.
Posted By: Outkaster

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 01:01 PM

2 out 5 malls will close in the next 20 years I read somewhere.
Posted By: The Creepy MC

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 01:27 PM

Only one mall locally here, and it has been dying for 10 years. I don't shop there anymore because they have next to nothing that appeals to me, the majority of products are tailored to women who are impulse shoppers. You know a mall is in trouble when it has a store that sells headstones.

I have been around the country and have seen many closed malls. One, they became obsolete; two, the owners were too greedy with the rent and stores left for greener pastures.
Posted By: MikeT156

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 05:19 PM

During the economic good times of the nineties, Malls where I live were full. Full of stores and full of people. When the economy went in the dumber,one by one large businesses closed up shop got rid of their employees. People that lost their jobs had no disposable income, some people sold their houses and moved somewhere else. Over a period of 10 years, malls had a lot more vacancies, and then started losing their anchor stores too. Penny's. Searcs, and a number of other large stores are gone.

Mall owners charged extremely high rent, everything in the mall was very expensive, right down to the food courts. Malls required tenant stores to stay open all the hours the Mall was open, and the one Mall Music store was one of the first stores to close. No traffic meant it wasn't worth paying the rent, and employees would quit because working for hourly at an empty store was not worth it for anyone.

I was never mall customer anyway.


Mike T.
Posted By: Stokely

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/13/19 10:59 PM

An empty mall is great when you have toddlers and it's super hot or story outside smile Let em run in air-conditioned comfort smile

I much prefer an indoor mall to the outdoor variety that still seem busy. Always liked just walking around in them, but certainly never bought much in anything other than the large dept stores...mostly clothes.
Posted By: Bone Muskeleton

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/14/19 01:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
There are two "Steinway showroom stores" in LA. Pasadena - I've never played a piano in my maybe three visits there that was anything special.

And Beverly Hills/W. LA - In the two times I've been there, it's like visiting a store that carries a completely different line of pianos. I played a D there maybe two and a half years ago that was the only piano in the last 13 years I've played that I'd trade mine for on the spot. Wouldn't think twice about it. It was incredible !

On the last visit, back in Sept. of '18, I played a good four out of maybe eight Bs that I would've gladly taken home.

And now they have a private selection room - for buyers or very serious potential buyers only - just outside of Downtown LA where supposedly they keep the creme of the creme. I heard it rivals the selection room at Steinway Hall in NYC.
My guess is the difference between the two stores is the tech prepping the instruments.

As you might know, the Selection Center is the way Steinway seems to be going. We have the Steinway Piano Gallery here in an upscale shopping district, and then there's the Selection Center downtown. They also hold performance events there. I guess the idea is that people don't have to go to NYC to choose from a few pianos of their desired size. These stores are run by the same company who sell Steinway in Dallas.
Posted By: Outkaster

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/15/19 08:56 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeT156
During the economic good times of the nineties, Malls where I live were full. Full of stores and full of people. When the economy went in the dumber,one by one large businesses closed up shop got rid of their employees. People that lost their jobs had no disposable income, some people sold their houses and moved somewhere else. Over a period of 10 years, malls had a lot more vacancies, and then started losing their anchor stores too. Penny's. Searcs, and a number of other large stores are gone.

Mall owners charged extremely high rent, everything in the mall was very expensive, right down to the food courts. Malls required tenant stores to stay open all the hours the Mall was open, and the one Mall Music store was one of the first stores to close. No traffic meant it wasn't worth paying the rent, and employees would quit because working for hourly at an empty store was not worth it for anyone.

I was never mall customer anyway.


Mike T.



A friend of mine runs a JC Penny here locally at a mall. He runs half the store and said if an anchor store moves out it's usually a good sign the mall is headed for a down turn.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/15/19 09:03 AM

Park City Mall in Lancaster has lost two anchor stores in the last year or so. It still gets lots of traffic, but I'm wondering how long it will last overall. There was talk about converting one of the empty anchor stores into a place for various antique/craft shows... idk
Posted By: Outkaster

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/15/19 10:19 AM

Well this particular one I mentioned is becoming an outlet mall. Macy's moved out because they don't want to be in that environment.
Posted By: Synthoid

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/15/19 10:23 AM

But speaking of mall music stores, I saw the Ensoniq Mirage for the first time at a piano/organ store in a Delaware mall. Quite a surprise.
Posted By: stoo schultz

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/15/19 12:12 PM

Those mall piano/organ stores are a part of vanishing Americana. An organist would sit at the entrance playing some big snazzy tune on a Wurlitzer to draw in the shoppers, while us kids would stare in amazement. Haven't seen something like that since probably the 1980s -- except maybe in a David Lynch film :-)
Posted By: hipogrito

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/16/19 12:58 PM

I wonder if somebody from Steinway saw a Tesla store in a mall and followed with a similar strategy... while a single store might or might not be profitable in itself, it might still be beneficial to the company branding overall if it's in the right place.

Fran
Posted By: Markyboard

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/17/19 12:29 PM

Originally Posted By: hipogrito
I wonder if somebody from Steinway saw a Tesla store in a mall and followed with a similar strategy... while a single store might or might not be profitable in itself, it might still be beneficial to the company branding overall if it's in the right place.

Fran


Actually, I think they took Nord's Lead shocked
Posted By: Raymb1

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/17/19 04:13 PM

Is this Tyson's or Dulles?
Posted By: Markyboard

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/17/19 04:42 PM

Tysons
Posted By: cphollis

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/17/19 07:15 PM

Not all malls are dead. It seems that in wealthier+dense demographics, the luxury brand mall is thriving. West Palm Beach is 90 minutes away -- when the adult kids are visiting, they insist we visit. The place is always full.

No piano/organ store in it (yet) but it wouldn't surprise me in the least. The formula there would be to handle the under-represented luxury brands, as there are several (good) dealers in town.
Posted By: Ed A.

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/18/19 12:51 AM

I remember the mall piano store near me back in 74'. They had a Minimoog and Moog Sonic Six amongst all the pianos and organs. Being a broke 16 year old back then, I could only dream of owning either of those.
Posted By: Docbop

Re: Return of the Mall Piano Store - 05/18/19 02:10 AM

Back when I was a kid there weren't Malls yet, but had big shopping centers and there was a organ store. One of my old buddies from high school the official Jazz guy was so happy he got a job there after he graduated. We'd go up there to say hi and he'd be in a suit and playing all sorts of boring pop and a touch of classical when there were real customers in the store. When real customers would leave he'd tear into some Jimmy Smith.

He was good and all the organ sales staff liked he so he was there for a few years before getting a gig heading out on the road and never heard from again.
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