The Road to Suzhou June 2018

On the Pacific Road…

Things heat up quickly in Asia during the early summer months and this year as I went through Japan and China I was reminded why I try to complete this annual journey earlier in the year! Fortunately, a typhoon passed through and cooled thing down a bit but it also put us into water up to our hubcaps…

The weather is not the only thing that is heating up in Asia… Over the past 30 years or so we have witnessed a major shift in the supply situation of Musical Instruments from Asia. The main source of supply shifted from Japan to Korea, Taiwan and then on to China.

The change in country of product origin caused many factories to close in some countries, while other factories moved elsewhere in order to survive.

On the other side of the coin was the change in the market situation in the countries that were the big producers. As their economies grew so did the appetite for music. Access to information on the internet fueled the levels of sophistication of musicians throughout Asia, and a whole new generation of pickers is on the scene.

Next time you’re thinking about display ideas or new ways to merchandise product, it might be a good idea to hop on the next plane to Suzhou to have a look! You’ll be amazed…

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
June 2018