Hermann and jorg kiederle sit in the small office on the second floor. They are laughing, but you can see how hard it was for them to make the decision to leave their business in two months. "We have always hoped that we could do it. But we have to look at the economic side, and it doesn't allow us to continue", jorg kiederle explains. 30,000 euros in private assets have been added in the past two years. Now it is enough. For the kiederles still have no debts, they are not broke either. Their work is just not worth it anymore. And they're not the only ones in the music business. "The entire industry is facing major upheavals." The internet trade and the huge music stores are killing off the small stores.
Trade in notes collapsed
"Business with music sets has slumped by up to 80 percent – even among our colleagues", says jorg kiederle. The internet trade with sheet music has existed for a long time, but up to now still at the usual prices plus shipping costs. But since a global mail order company entered the market with extremely low prices and sometimes free shipping, local retailers can no longer keep up. Jorg kiederle is convinced: "in the next five years, there will be no more music business in cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants." In northern bavaria alone, three to five dealers will give up or have already closed down, says the coburg-based. "Even our suppliers have already reduced their services."
Jorg kiederle is now moving to one of these houses: in the future, he will be working in the piano gallery of musikhaus thomann. The brother thomas and two other teachers still give music lessons until the end of the year.But thomas kiederle will continue to tune pianos, offer piano service and used pianos.
Father hermann kiederle retires for good and concentrates more on his garden. But even he finds it difficult to say goodbye to the house at steingasse 14, which belongs to the family. Time to remember. In 1929 his father georg had founded the business in the same place. "He sold string instruments and guitars that he had built himself and of course sheet music." Hermann kiederle's son also learned the trade of violin making, spent four years in switzerland and passed the master's examination in munich in 1954. Then he took over the business, his father worked with him until he died in 1982.
Assortment expanded again and again
In steingasse the shop was rebuilt and the assortment was extended with electronic instruments. Musikhaus kiederle was one of the first yamaha dealers in germany. In the 80's it started with the music lessons. "We had our best time in the 50s, 60s and 80s", tells hermann kiederle. Under his aegis, the range of services has been steadily expanded. Soon the instruments were accompanied by accessories and sheet music. 1995 the sons joined the business. They expanded the assortment with new brands and more electronics. They also set up a web-shop. "We were mainly concerned with information. Moreover, we rented instruments with the option of buying them later", tells jorg kiederle. For two or three years, however, sales have declined sharply. "This spring was particularly bad – for the whole industry."
The businessman sees the reasons for this not only in the overflowing internet trade. "Only ten percent of the population plays music." Often instruments of inferior quality were bought at discounters. "They do not work properly and people come to us with them. But we can't do anything about it, so they quickly lose interest."
Hermann kiederle remembers how it was in the past. "Making music was still something special, a magic came from it." The violin maker sees the loss of this magic as a loss for culture.