WATCH: Inside America’s Biggest Music Store
Each week, The Music Experience's Squiggy has been meeting with some of the top rock stars to discuss gear and what inspires them as part of our Gear Factor series, powered by Sweetwater. This week, Squiggy ventured off to Fort Wayne, Indiana to visit the headquarters of Sweetwater and get a look at their extensive gear selection and impressive operation.
First up on the tour, Squiggy meets with former Grim Reaper guitarist Nick Bowcott, who has worked with Marshall over the years and now calls Sweetwater his home. Bowcott, who recently filmed a Dimebag Darrell riff tribute for Gear Factor, starts off the tour before taking our host to meet Thad Tegmeyer, the VP of Campus Sales Operations and Artist Relations.
Tegmeyer reveals that the Fort Wayne Sweetwater headquarters is 14,000 square feet of a music store and that they house the largest onsite inventory of any store in the country. Given the enormity of their business, access is of great priority and Tegmeyer demonstrates the Sweetwater interactive digital warehouse -- a touch-based database where you can quickly discover what options and what availability can be had for the specific item a customer is searching for.
Sweetwater want to make sure the customer has the best experience in determining if they wish to choose a particular instrument, so their own photographers capture images of every single item, individually. According to Tegmeyer, every guitar sold at $299 or above gets a full inspection and receives nine high resolution images that are available for customers to help in their decision-making.
Squiggy also gets some time with Sweetwater's founder and CEO, Chuck Surack, who speaks of the immense inspiration he gets from working at the company. "I believe doing everything the best you can do is always the right way to go, and that in itself creates inspiration. I'm inspired every day coming in here," says Surack. You can see Squiggy's video tour of the Sweetwater facilities in full above.
This month, Sweetwater marks its 40th anniversary in business, providing players with the instruments and gear to take their music to the next level. To learn more about Sweetwater and to investigate their inventory, head to their website here.
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