Sam Ash Music Stores recently opened a new store in Jacksonville (FL), at the former George’s Music location on Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park. Several thoughts occurred to me as I read comments on a Facebook thread about the new store. Searching for information, I learned some interesting things about the latest option in shopping for the Jax music community.
Sam Ash is family-owned; it isn’t a public company. The company began in 1924 when Sam and Rose Ash pawned her engagement ring for startup capital. The couple bought the ring back, and four generations later, according to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, the company begun with a ring has expanded to become “the largest family-owned chain of musical instrument stores in the United States.” A company comprising a single store in New York now has at least 47 locations spread across a number of US states.
A post on the Facebook page for the company in response to the opening announcement filled in some details:
“[W]e purchased the store from George’s, bought the remainder $300,000 of stock they had, and brought in almost $2,000,000 (and climbing) in gear. Our official signs should be arriving soon, but we are here and open!”
Indie Art South learned today via a phone call that the store is hiring right now.
The location Sam Ash chose is a familiar one to Jax musicians. Personally speaking it’s very familiar—I still remember the day Rebecca purchased her first self-financed guitar for performing, a Taylor, as she began her own music business. Many trips later, Jennifer, Rebecca and I are planning a visit to the new Sam Ash because music requires constant maintenance of and replacement of equipment. If you work fulltime as a musician, the equipment does the same.
In 2006 founder Sam Ash was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Current COO Sammy Ash, in an interview with Retail Merchandiser, summed up the family-owned company’s philosophy:
“My grandparents believed in doing all the right things with regard to honesty, opening early and closing late, making deliveries and doing everything they could to make sure their customers were taken care of,” says COO Sammy Ash, who was named after his grandfather, the store’s founder. “They believed in running a clean house – no lying, no cheating, no nonsense.”
Sam Ash Music gives those involved in music another option for service and equipment in Jacksonville. Currently there are coupons online, valid until January 31, 2019. Full info on the store—location, phone, etc.—is posted there. You can also see photos of the new store on this page. Artist meet-and-greets, clinics, and open mic events are planned. Of interest to me are the podcast kits Sam Ash is selling. Also there’s a contest page where you can register in hopes of winning equipment.
When I phoned the store to inquire about guitars, I received excellent customer service. The Daysies and I will be paying Sam Ash Music a visit soon.
[Featured image from samash.com]
[No tangible benefits of any kind are derived by Indie Art South from writing about new businesses, musicians, or any other topic.]
(Kay B. Day/Jan. 16, 2019)