Macron Music is nestled in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, between Gosford and Terrigal and first opened its doors in the late 1970s. In 2015 the store took on an exciting new chapter with a new ownership, and a new direction. We took the opportunity to drop into the store to chat with Anthony Ursino, and find out where Macron Music is headed and what changes have been put in place.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the Music Retail Industry?
I am just a guy who grew up on the central coast who wanted to be a rockstar. Haha Isn’t that everyone’s story?
I got started in the Music Retail industry in 2009 after working for McDonalds for 7 years.
Macron Music was my local store growing up and it was always my Mecca for anything Musical. Growing up on the Central Coast and playing in bands it was evident that the coasts music scene would always be thriving no matter what was going on in the world. I moved to Sydney is 2010 and began working for another music retailer where I learn a lot about the back end of running a Music retail business. After travelling overseas from 2012 until the end of 2013 I came back to Macron Music to teach guitar and after about 6
Months of teaching part time the opportunity arose for me to purchase the business off the previous owners. I then managed the store for year before purchasing it in July 2015.
So what is your role at Macron Music?
I am the Managing Director meaning there isn’t anything I don’t do-including cleaning the bathrooms. Primarily my focus is the 6 staff I have on the floor in the retail store and making sure they have the tools and resources to perform their jobs and to ensure that the two staff who run the online store are keeping up with the pressures of the eCommerce world. I also manage all the marketing and online content that goes on our site as well as graphically designing (very basically) the images and online marketing content. I also oversee our music school which has about 200 students now. So basically I do a bit of everything although I’m sure my staff wished I did less!
When you started at Macron Music and what was your motivation behind it?
Everyone wants to work in a music shop and it’s incredibly hard to get your foot in the door. I started at Macron in 2009 and my first day I offered to work for free to show the owner that I was a valuable asset. My first job was to take the vacuum into the amp room and vacuum behind all the amps. I think I must have done something right because within 4 hours the owner asked me to work again the next two days. I then became a causal salesperson learning how to sell guitars and then pianos. I then managed the piano department which included both digital and acoustic pianos. After a while I was selling a bit of everything and then moved to another retail business to gain some more experience.
As the Owner & Managing Director, tell us a little about your business philosophy?
My business philosophy is simple. I want to sell musical instruments and equipment to as many people as possible by providing a safe, non-judgmental and encouraging environment that can supply its customers in its local area and Australia wide. I want a store than inspires and invigorates and that adds to the music industry in Australia. I want the customer to feel what I felt the first time I played a song live on stage.
What does the store specialise in?
Predominantly we are a guitar store stocking over 300 guitars across 8 major brands but we are also a serious drum and keyboard store specialising in Acoustic Drums and digital pianos. We do a small but growing amount of music technology and sound reinforcement and that is a part of the business that is becoming a significant growth area. We sell probably more strings and accessories than any bricks and mortar store in the country and we also have a healthy education business and deal with most of the school around the Central Coast Area.
What are some of the other Music Products you carry?
We stock a lot of big guitar brands including ESP, Fender, Gibson, Martin, Maton, Cole Clark, and Schecter as well as their subsidiary brands. We do Blackstar, Marshall. Gallien-Krueger, Ampeg, Fender, Vox, Orange and AER. We stock Korg, Roland and Yamaha in Digital Pianos and we are a premium DW Drum dealer which means we also do a tonne of PDP as well as Pearl, Gretsch, Zildjian, Meinl and LP Percussion. We are also a large scale D’Addario dealer which means we offer a tonne of different options in strings and we also do Promark , Evans and the Planet Waves range.
Have any big name artists come through your door?
We have a fairly healthy clientele of some Australian Music legends who regularly shop at the store. There is a huge amount of successful country music Artists on the Central Coast including Kasey and Bill Chambers, Adam Harvey, Rod McCormack, Gina Jeffreys and lots more. And if I remember correctly we’ve also had Barnsey pop in once years ago.
So tell us about some of the other services do you provide?
We like to think of ourselves as a full service GMI store meaning that if its music you seek then you have come to right place. We have a full time repairman who spends his days servicing and setting up guitars so that every instrument goes out in the most playable condition possible. We also have a range of third party repairers and contractors at our disposal who fix things ranging from PA and amplifiers to Brass and Woodwind.
How do you stay connected with your customers?
We like to connect on as many levels as possible with our customers. Obviously in 2018 there are many different social fronts that a business can communicate on including the usual suspects like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email etc but communication is about far more than advertising. Communication is transparency, we like to make sure that if someone contacts us that they have the same experience digitally as they would have physically in person .
We also like to have a laugh with our customers and keep things casual- just ask Luke.
What are you most proud of about your store?
I am proud of absolutely every part of my store. What the staff and I have achieved in 3 years is nothing short of amazing and I am thankful every day for it. I am proud of the brands we stock, the suppliers we choose to do business with and the direction that the store is taking. If I had to pick my favourite part of the store I would probably pick the guitar wall we built 3 years ago. It stands 5 rows high and is home to almost 350 guitars.
We believe it is mighty impressive!
Tell us about some of the key personnel in the store and what are their roles?
We have 9 staff members when you combine fulltime, part time staff and contractors. The main team is made up of myself who manages the store, Luke who looks after the guitar department, Liam who looks after Hi-Tech and Pro Audio as well as a bit of everything else and Brin who looks after drums. The core team brings over 50 years of combined experience in the music industry and our primary focus is to make sure we are there to help you with whatever it is you need in the most friendly way possible.
Are your staff all working musicians?
All of the staff minus the accounts department have played music professionally at some point in their lives. Luke has spent time touring Europe with his band Mark my Words playing with bands like Parkway Drive and Mindsnare amongst many more. Brin played drums in a band called Cabins who toured all over Australia with bands like the Vines, The Scare and Violent Soho back in the early 2000’s. Liam has spent many years playing in and out of local bands in the Central Coast and Sydney scene and also has studied audio engineering at AIM.
Do you any have any special events coming up in the store?
We do indeed! We have the massive Korgantuan sale which runs from May to the end of June and this was absolutely massive last year. There are some crazy deals on some really popular Korg products and we are really excited about the 2018 version of this great sale. We also have our once a year Mayday sale which will be on Saturday the 26th of May so keep an eye out on our socials for that.
What are the future plans for Macron Music?
We have some fairly lofty plans to expand what Macron Music does across all our departments. We are about to become a Gretsch Drum dealer as well as the addition of the LP percussion range. We also have plans to expand our guitar department by about 15% in the middle of this year and we have just installed a new display wall to accommodate this. Along with the physical changes we have some exciting plans for our online store which will mean we can offer more to our remote customers and give them the a similar experience to the one our in-store customers have.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that its super important to support your local music store. If there is anything we hear regularly its sadly that a lot of good retailers are closing their doors. If you are in the music industry keep your business within Australia and if you aren’t close to a store then we always have you covered via our online offering. We would also like to thank Noisegate for the opportunity to tell you guys a bit about what we do!
Shop 8/210 The Entrance Rd Erina NSW 2250. Phone (02) 4367 8500. Email: [email protected]
Open Monday to Friday: 9am-5.30pm . Saturday: 10am-4.30pm
Follow Macron Music:
YouTube: Macron Music YouTube Channel