|January 01 2005|
|For Immediate Release|
|Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Director of Program Development, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030|
|Sweetwater Responds to Record Growth, Ramps Up Hiring|
| Riding a crest of record-breaking 2004 sales, Sweetwater is planning for major expansion in 2005, including the addition of up to 40 new Sales Engineers to accommodate the dramatic growth in business.
"In 2004, sales have increased at more than four times the rate of previous years," said Sweetwater founder and President Chuck Surack. "Although we've been able to maintain the highest level of customer service this year, to continue to maintain the standards that our customers expect, we need to add to our award-winning team of Sales Engineers to support our rapidly expanding customer base." The influx of new customers of the pro audio and musical instrument retailer has more than doubled since 2002.
Surack attributed the 2004 surge to increased activity in several of the company's key areas. Sales of Digidesign Pro Tools products grew nearly 50%, strengthening Sweetwater's stature as the nation's largest independent Pro Tools dealer. The company installed a pair of Digidesign ICON systems at Ball State University in Indiana, the first such systems deployed in the United States, and has commissioned several more ICON systems throughout the Midwest. In addition, Sweetwater Productions, the company's in-house recording studio, installed its own ICON system, furthering the studio's status as the most advanced commercial recording studio facility in Northeast Indiana.
Sweetwater also saw exponential growth in guitar sales, thanks in large part to innovative initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of that market segment. These initiatives include presenting custom photography of individual instruments online at www.sweetwater.com/guitargallery, and expanding the number of brands and models that the company carries. In 2004, Sweetwater added Taylor Guitars to its list of guitar vendors, which also includes Fender, Gibson, Martin, Parker, Paul Reed Smith, Brian Moore and others.
Sweetwater also completed a 4-month renovation of its local showroom, more than doubling the previous retail space onsite. The huge new showroom is jam-packed with the latest in music technology, with dedicated space for digital recording gear, a humidity-controlled room filled with premium guitars, and a Macintosh with a custom inventory search program that instantly educates local customers about the thousands of products Sweetwater carries.
The planned expansion of the sales staff will ensure that Sweetwater's award-winning approach to customer service is maintained as its customer base grows. "After more than a quarter century in business, our strategy in this area hasn't changed," Surack said. "We continue to find that hiring the best people and giving them the tools they need to take care of our customers are the keys to our success." Individuals interested in career opportunities at Sweetwater should contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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