UK MI industry sector reveals 37% drop in imports of synths

“We have accurate figures for both item numbers and value and neither picture is good.”

Declining figures graph

Credit: Getty / Peter Stark

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A new independent report on the state of the UK MI sector has shown a substantial drop in imports of numerous instruments.

The report, compiled by industry veteran Alan Greensall in MI Trade News by Gary Cooper, found that imports of almost all categories of MI products recorded huge falls in 2023, painting a troubled picture for UK retailers and distributors.

There was a 37 percent reduction in imports of synths and 48 percent reduction in imports of digital pianos. “We have accurate figures for both item numbers and value and neither picture is good,” Greensall says.

Elsewhere, the numbers of electric guitars imported last year were down 31 percent, while acoustic guitar imports were down 56 percent and drums and percussion decreased by 11 percent.

Explaining his methods of data collection, Greensall says: “The industry desperately needs facts and figures, not vague feelings about what might or might not be happening. Relying on that is like driving a car with your eyes closed and waiting until you hit something. How can retailers and manufacturers plan what to order or stock if they have no idea where the market is heading?”

“If you want to know where an industry is going it’s vital to understand where it’s been and how it got where it is today so as to get some idea what will happen next and plan for this year and next.”

“There are are a lot of questions these statistics raise, for example, are there enough guitars arriving to sustain the historic sales numbers, or is the UK stock holding in distributors and retailers able to bridge the gap? Are the instruments in stock actually selling through?”


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