Summary of our market study

The French guitar market is estimated at €160 million

In 2020, the global guitar market will continue to experience changes in consumer behavior and preferences. Despite a slowdown in the electric guitar market due to aging musicians and changing musical trends, the acoustic guitar segment manages to remain stable.

Demand for guitars in France remains strong, with 21% of those surveyed playing the instrument. The French market shows a strong bias towards mid-range instruments, which account for 52% of new purchases. The second-hand market is also important, particularly for high-end names where older models fetch higher prices, fuelling speculative investment.

Challenges are notable in the retail sector, as evidenced by the closure of over 200 musical instrument stores and the filing for bankruptcy of major players such as Gibson. Stores have struggled to innovate, and e-commerce has revolutionized consumer buying habits.

Industry players began to explore R&D to differentiate their products with alternative materials such as bamboo and carbon. Start-ups like HyVibe are innovating by integrating technology, transforming guitars into intelligent devices.

Regulatory pressures on raw materials are affecting the availability of certain woods and metals, prompting the search for sustainable local alternatives.

Trends and developments in the French guitar market

In France, the market for plucked instruments dominates. With 45% of instruments sold, they outstrip keyboard instruments, which account for around 23%, and wind, drum and string instruments.

The guitar, with its rich heritage and diverse forms, is firmly rooted in French culture and hearts. Despite the turbulence of the economic crisis, the guitar market in France has proved resilient

Among the new stringed instruments purchased by the French, mid-range guitars, priced between 150 and 700 euros, are the most popular, with a majority share of between 50% and 55%.

Entry-level instruments claim a substantial share of around 40%, while high-end guitars settle for around 7%.

Vintage guitars, collectors' items over 25 to 30 years old, tend to appreciate in value, often fetching a higher price on the second-hand market than their original selling price.

Stores are the main place to buy plucked string instruments, but the internet market plays an important role, with around 25-30% of purchases made online. The digital space has transformed the pace of transactions, attracting an ever-wider audience, from beginners to maestros in search of the perfect sound.

While affordability guides beginners, connoisseurs and professionals are inclined to invest in top-quality strings and craftsmanship, which can range from around 700 to several thousand euros. There is also a certain push towards sustainable and innovative materials such as bamboo and linen.

The guitar market is made up of a constellation of well-known brands and manufacturers

  • Fender Musical Instruments Corporation: Fender is a titan in the world of electric guitars. Fender's influence is perceptible not only in the instruments it supplies, but also in the cultural status they convey.
  • Gibson Brands, Inc: This robust manufacturer has faced its share of challenges, including a recent bankruptcy and restructuring.
  • Thomann: Europe's largest musical instrument retailer
  • José Ramirez is a brand deeply rooted in the Spanish lutherie tradition.
  • Epiphone: A subsidiary of Gibson Brands, Epiphone offers a range of guitars at more accessible prices.
  • Squier is Fender's affordable range
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation

The term guitar comes from the ancient Greek: κιθάρα / kithara: zither. It is a plucked string instrument. The strings are laid parallel to the soundboard and neck, usually cut with frets, on which the strings are pressed, with one hand, to produce different notes. The strings are plucked with the other hand: either with the fingernails and fingertips, or with a pick.

The most common guitar has six strings. The guitar is the most widespread European variant of the lute-box-necked instrument category. The following instruments belong to the same category: balalaika, bouzouki, charango, lute, mandolin, oud, theorbo, ukulele.

The guitar differs from these instruments in shape, number of strings and most common tuning. Variants of the classical guitar have other regional names: viola, violão, cavaco and cavaquinho; tiple and requinto.

There are many different types of guitar, each with its own ambitus and timbre, but most share the same playing techniques. The soundboard is the hollow body of the guitar, which transforms the vibration of the strings into sound waves. With few exceptions, the guitar case is made of wood.

The electric guitar was created in the 20th century. It does not require a resonance box. It's a new instrument, with an electronic amplifier and loudspeaker, and offers far greater possibilities of timbre variation than the acoustic guitar.

The guitar is an easy-to-carry instrument, making it ideal for accompanying songs from a wide range of musical registers. European classical music contains a vast repertoire for guitar. The guitar is also the characteristic instrument of flamenco, where it accompanies singing and dancing. The guitar's popularity grew with the international spread of North American music in the 20th century, such as jazz, blues, country, pop, rock, reggae and soul. Alongside the piano, harmonica and violin, the guitar is one of the most widely played instruments in the world.

As a result, thehe global guitar market was valued at10.30 billion dollars in 2022and is expected to record aCAGR of 7.7%from 2023 to 2030 [GrandViewResearch].

1.2 World guitar market

The global guitar market has been valued at $**.** billion in **** , and is expected to register a CAGR of *. *% from **** to ****. One of the main factors driving market growth is the growing popularity of music-related leisure activities. All over the world, people are opting for a variety of leisure activities, including music, ...

1.3 The guitar market in France

The figures in the graph above represent an estimate based on average annual sales indices and our reference sales figure: *** million euros in ****. This figure takes into account sales of musical instruments, which amounted to *** million euros, as well as sales of related accessories, which totalled *** million euros [***].

Between **** and ****, the ...

1.4 Foreign trade in guitars in France

Sales of international trade in musical instruments between France and foreign countries, by value France, ****, in Source: ****

Trademap code: ****

Imports have only increased between **** and ****, reaching around ***.* million euros in **** and an estimated ***.* million euros in ****. Exports, on the other hand, have been on a rollercoaster ride since ****: they have sometimes ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Musical practice in France

Around a third of French people play one or more musical instruments, with an average of *.* instruments per person. While musical practice is accessible to all social classes, it is interesting to note that lower socio-professional categories account for a significant proportion of musicians(***). In addition to the financial outlay involved ...

2.2 Musical instrument purchasing habits and buyer profiles

Depending on the type of instrument family, we can identify a typical musician profile. For example, a musician playing the accordion would be a **-year-old man from a lower social class, who has been playing as an amateur for over * years. A musician playing a wind instrument would be a **-year-old ...

2.3 Reasons for purchasing instruments

Musicians' purchasing motivations are as varied as their sources of information. In ****, the main reason for purchase was the desire to learn an instrument on their own(***). However, in ****, the Covid crisis had a significant impact on the willingness to buy, with **% of musicians purchasing equipment during the various confinements.

Motivations ...

2.4 Consumption of accessories and services

Musicians as a whole are frequent purchasers of accessories and services. **% have bought accessories in the last two years. The age group with the highest proportion of accessory purchases is **-**, with **% . Certain instruments are more likely to lead to the purchase of accessories. For example, **% of musicians have bought an ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Guitar market value chain

The guitar market value chain is made up of several interconnected stages that contribute to the creation, manufacture, distribution and sale of guitars. The main stages in the guitar market value chain are described below:

Design and development : This stage encompasses the initial design of guitars, including the creation of new ...

3.2 Characteristics of the guitar market

Two main instrument categories account for **% of sales by volume: pianos (***) and plucked instruments, mainly guitars. While physical stores, whether generalist or specialist, contribute over half of sales, e-commerce sites continue to grow, and now account for **% of sales by volume.

Breakdown of instrument sales by volume France, ****, in Source: ****

Instrument ...

3.3 Instrument and guitar production in France

In ****, the number of establishments registered under NAF code ****Z - Manufacture of musical instruments - stood at *** throughout the country. This figure is broadly constant, but has seen an increase since ****, when there were just *** music manufacturers. INSEE does not provide more precise data on guitar manufacturing in France.

Trend ...

3.4 Market players

Gibson for purists

Dreaming of playing haunting melodies on a Les Paul? Gibson remains the American luthier of choice for fans of electric, acoustic and, of course, electric instruments. Artists such as B.B. King, Mark Knopfler and even the great Bob Marley swore by Gibson creations.

The Epiphone subsidiary offers ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The different offers on the market.

Acoustic guitars

Entry-level products (***).

Guitars can be found on the Internet for less than €** , and are low-quality, cheaply made guitars with a short lifespan. Acoustic guitars between €*** and €*** are the most common guitars bought by beginners, as the wood finishes are of better quality. Good-quality guitars can be found between €*** and ...

4.2 Second-hand and rental, new ways of consuming instruments

Nowadays, playing an instrument doesn't have to mean buying a new one. In fact, customers can decide to buy a second-hand instrument , rent one , or even use a self-service instrument.

Focus on used instruments :

Used instrument buyers tend to prefer instruments less than ** years old. Although the main motivation for buying ...

4.3 The latest innovations

Smart acoustic guitar

During the ****s, manufacturers Takamine and Ovation enjoyed great success electrifying acoustic guitars. However, Lâg, a guitar brand belonging to the Algam group from Nantes, and the Paris-based start-up HyVibe have taken things a step further with their smart guitar. At first glance, this guitar appears to ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

French regulations on the guitar market are mainly based on European legislation, in particular Directive ****/**/EC on musical instruments. The regulations are European, and there are no import regulations that differ from EU regulations in France [***]:

Conformity certification: Guitars must comply with harmonized European standards. They must bear the CE mark, ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Euterbe Musique
  • Lâg Guitars
  • Vigier
  • Custom 77
  • MeloDuende Guitars
  • Wild Customs
  • Desert Dust
  • Woodbrass
  • Euroguitar
  • Centrale Guitars
  • Yamaha Music
  • Fender
  • Paul Beuscher
  • Cultura

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the global guitar market
  • Worldwide sales by purchasing channel
  • Average annual sales index for musical instrument manufacturing
  • Musical instruments market sales and trends
  • Distribution of leased and purchased instruments
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Latest news

Cultura hires ex-Décathlon man as general manager - 08/02/2024
  1. Year Cultura was founded: 1998
  2. Number of employees: 4,500
  3. Number of stores in France: 109 (including 4 franchises)
  4. Number of references on e-commerce site: over 4 million.
Plaxtil and Cultura join forces to recycle old schoolbags - 20/08/2023
  • Plaxtil was created in 2020.
  • The company works with brands such as Lacoste and Kiabi.
  • It is collecting non-reusable schoolbags from 110 Cultura stores until September 3.
  • Plaxtil employs around twenty people.
  • It achieved sales of 850,000 euros and earnings of over 200,000 euros.
  • The company is preparing to raise 3 million euros to finance the creation of small recycling plants.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Euterbe Musique
Lâg Guitars
Custom 77
MeloDuende Guitars
Wild Customs
Desert Dust
Centrale Guitars
Yamaha Music

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