Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on how local small businesses in the Longview area are doing – and in some cases surviving – in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lots of new guitarists.”
This is one of the many key factors that Mike Boring, director of Mundt Music, has helped the 55-year-old Longview company to stay afloat during the shutdown and economic downturn caused by the COVID pandemic. -19.
“I guess a lot of people were going crazy sitting at home and, I mean, because you couldn’t go out and see bands or something like that, so they started investing in new instruments and learning to home, ”Boring said.
While the store initially handled instrument repair work and some sales via curbside service, sales overall were in a threatening minor tone.
“At first when we had the shutdown it was pretty scary,” Boring said. “Business has fallen into the deep end rather badly. “
But, as churches and others began to research new audio and video solutions to help get through the pandemic shutdown, Boring said Mundt Music’s AV department has seen an increase in sales and service for these products.
When the company was finally able to reopen, sales returned at a steady pace.
“After getting past that first stop, it turned into Christmas-like sales numbers,” Boring said.
He said that during the closure the store focused on online sales and, unlike some stores, continued to order new products from suppliers. Boring believes it helped when the store was finally able to reopen as it had products on the shelves and was immediately ready to sell to customers looking for those products while other stores ordered backlogged items.
Mundt Music offers lessons for wind instruments, guitar, bass, drums, piano, vocals and even ukulele. Boring said instructors made the most of the situation by offering online classes to students during the shutdown and recently restarted in-person classes with limited numbers.
To retain customers, Boring said the company is focusing heavily on its social media presence through Facebook and Instagram and its website, where it has started to see more online sales across the country.
“We had a huge TV (advertising) budget that we took a little bit out of it,” Boring said, “and we invested more of our online advertising with major Google services and things like that.”
Mundt Music was created in 1965 by Robert and Mary Mundt in Tyler. Mundt Music of Longview opened in 1971 in downtown Longview and moved in 1981 to its current location at 2312 Judson Road.
Both sites still belong to the Mundt family.