American Guitar Manufacturer Fender Debuts Flagship Store in Tokyo to Capitalize on Regional Expansion

by Ethan Kim
Fender Flagship Store Tokyo

Fender, renowned guitar brand whose clients include global musical icons like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, is inaugurating its first-ever flagship store in its 77-year operational history.

The esteemed American guitar producer has strategically located its inaugural store in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, popular among Japanese youth for its vibrant animation culture, eccentric fashion trends, and of course, a fondness for American music. The store’s grandeur was previewed to the media on Thursday, ahead of its formal opening on Friday.

Fender anticipates Asia-Pacific to become the world’s largest music market by 2030 and has plans to open more stores in the region. The company has consistently seen an annual double-digit percentage growth in its Japanese revenue since 2015.

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Erino Yumiki, a globally recognized Fender artist, guitarist, and songwriter, said, “I’ve experimented with various brands, but what sets Fender apart is its capacity to amplify your skills, encouraging you to discover your potential and embrace new challenges.”

“Music can be a downer sometimes, but it’s also been my savior. The music I’ve experienced throughout my life shapes my identity,” shared Yumiki, who is the proud owner of around twelve Fender guitars.

Despite Tokyo’s plethora of new and second-hand guitar stores, the flagship Fender store aims to act as an engaging blend of a museum and amusement park for Fender aficionados.

Fender attributes the guitar surge to the social restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, leading its revenue to swell from $500 million to approximately $1 billion during the COVID-19 years.

As Fender Musical Instruments Corp. CEO Andy Mooney notes, even if only one out of every ten people who took up guitar during the pandemic continues to play—as statistics suggest—it promises substantial revenue.

With two decades of experience at Nike, including work on the Michael Jordan campaign, and an 11-year stint at Disney overseeing consumer products, Mooney, himself a guitarist, brings a wealth of marketing knowledge. He likens Fender’s current transformation to the reinvention of sneaker retailing he observed at Nike.

The three-story Harajuku store houses an extensive collection of Fender guitars, basses, and amplifiers, some of which are exclusive offerings. It also features a concert venue and a coffee shop in the basement.

Fender promises a welcoming environment for musical novices at the Tokyo store, with a majority of female salesclerks. The store also includes a clothing section called “F Is For Fender” and a top-floor shop dedicated to custom-made guitars.

The more mature clientele who now have the resources to afford custom instruments they’ve long desired can find them at Fender, said Mooney, highlighting the brand’s appeal to all ages in the Japanese market.

The store’s grand opening was marked by a live performance from Yumiki, Miyavi — who starred in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” — and a host of other Japanese guitarists.

Fender’s Japan-made guitars, including the respected Stratocasters, will be sold alongside models from the U.S. and Mexico. The more budget-friendly options are priced around 110,000 yen ($760).

Fender is also banking on the growing digital engagement with guitar-related content on platforms like TikTok, which is drawing hobbyists to the guitar world.

Edward Cole, Fender’s President for Asia-Pacific, expressed that they also aim to attract the countless tourists visiting Japan annually, along with the brand-conscious Japanese consumers.

Fender aims to establish a prominent presence in Tokyo, akin to international powerhouses like Chanel and Apple, with its new store, he added.

“We aspire to inspire our visitors to fall in love with the concept of playing music,” he remarked.

You can follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fender Flagship Store Tokyo

Where is Fender’s first flagship store located?

Fender’s first flagship store is located in Tokyo’s Harajuku district.

Who are some of the world-famous artists associated with Fender?

Some globally renowned artists associated with Fender include Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Erino Yumiki.

What does Fender’s new store offer besides instruments?

Besides instruments, Fender’s new store in Harajuku offers a concert venue and coffee shop in the basement, a clothing section, and a top-floor dedicated to custom-made guitars.

What has caused a surge in Fender’s revenue in recent years?

The social restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic led to a surge in people taking up guitar, which significantly increased Fender’s revenue.

Who is Fender targeting with their new store in Tokyo?

Fender aims to attract a wide range of customers with their new store, including musical novices, mature clientele who can now afford custom instruments, tourists visiting Japan, and brand-conscious Japanese consumers.

What is unique about the salesclerks at the new Fender store?

Most of the salesclerks at the new Fender store are women, providing a friendly and welcoming environment for musical newcomers.

What is the price range of the guitars available at the new Fender store?

The guitars at the new Fender store range from more affordable options priced around 110,000 yen ($760) to higher-end, custom-made instruments.

More about Fender Flagship Store Tokyo

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AcousticAmy June 30, 2023 - 3:53 am

Thats one expensive store, huh? But I guess if u love music & guitars, it’ll be worth every yen. still, hope they got some budget options too…

GuitarGuru101 June 30, 2023 - 4:34 am

Woah! Fender’s setting up shop in Tokyo, thats wicked cool. always admired their gear. Hope I can visit someday.

JazzJan June 30, 2023 - 5:00 am

Interesting… they say more women will be salesclerks. bout time music stores became less intimidating for us ladies! rock on Fender!!

TokyoTom June 30, 2023 - 5:31 pm

So excited about this! Live near Harajuku and I’m a massive fender fan. Cant wait to check it out!!

VintageVibes June 30, 2023 - 8:00 pm

I’m curious to see how Fender will shape the music scene here in Asia-Pacific. And custom-made guitars, woah, that’s a dream!

MusicManiac June 30, 2023 - 11:21 pm

Fender’s growth during the pandemic’s quite impressive. Good to see companies adapting and thriving in these weird times.

StratStar July 1, 2023 - 12:31 am

their guitars r simply the best, hands down. This new store sounds awesome!


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