Inside America’s Largest Music Store

Every week, The musical experience‘s Squiggy sat down with some of rock’s biggest stars to discuss gear and what inspires them as part of our Gear Factor series, powered by Sweetwater. This week, Squiggy ventured to Fort Wayne, Indiana to visit Sweetwater’s corporate headquarters and check out their huge selection of gear and awesome operation.

First on the tour, Squiggy meets former Grim Reaper guitarist Nick Bowcott, who has worked with Marshall over the years and now calls Sweetwater his home. Bowcott, who recently filmed a Dimebag Darrell riff tribute for Gear Factor, kicks off the tour before taking our host to meet Thad Tegmeyer, the VP of Campus Sales Operations and Artist Relations.

Tegmeyer reveals that the Fort Wayne Sweetwater headquarters spans 14,000 square feet of a music store and houses the largest on-site inventory of any store in the country. Given the scale of their business, access is a high priority and Tegmeyer demonstrates the Sweetwater Interactive Digital Warehouse – a touchscreen database where you can quickly discover the options and availability available for the specific item a customer is looking for.

Sweetwater wants to ensure that the customer has the best experience in determining if they want to choose a particular instrument, so that their own photographers capture images of each item, individually. According to Tegmeyer, every guitar sold for $299 or more goes through a full inspection and receives nine high-resolution images that are available to customers to help with their decision-making.

Squiggy also hangs out with Sweetwater Founder and CEO Chuck Surack, who talks about the immense inspiration he gets from his work at the company. “I believe that doing everything you can to do your best is always the right way to go, and that in itself is inspirational. I’m inspired every day coming here,” Surack says. You can watch Squiggy’s video tour of the Sweetwater facility in its entirety above.

This month, Sweetwater celebrates its 40th anniversary in business, providing musicians with the instruments and equipment needed to take their music to the next level. To learn more about Sweetwater and to investigate their inventory, visit their website here.

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