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Press Release
January 09 2006
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
2005 Banner Year For Sweetwater
- Industry-leading retailer experiences meteoric growth -

FORT WAYNE, IN, November 28, 2005 - Sweetwater, the nation's leading retailer of musical instruments and technology, proudly announces that 2005 was a banner year for the company, with unprecedented growth in all areas of operation, and numerous records set and milestones surpassed. Chuck Surack, President and Founder of Sweetwater, says, "Based on our analysis of previous years' data and our ongoing projections, we anticipated 2005 would be a year of strong growth. But the company's performance in the past 12 months has been simply astounding; we've shattered all expectations!"

The retailer experienced a phenomenal 25% increase in sales during 2005. In addition, for the past 26 consecutive months, the company has experienced increases for each month compared to the same month of the year before. "The grand finale," continues Surack, "was our December 2005 performance - the best sales month in the company's 27-year history."

While impressive in themselves, the 2005 sales figures are only part of the story. The company pursued ongoing staff additions, reaching a record 211 employees by the end of 2005. "Last year saw us bring some key hires onboard," adds Surack. "Our new Marketing Director, Michael Ross, and Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, being just two examples. We've also expanded our sales force and support staff; our efforts to seek out the most talented, experienced, and knowledgeable Sales Engineers have really paid off with even better customer service."

The past year has seen Sweetwater add important new product lines to its offerings, notably the full line of Peavey products. According to Surack, "We're thrilled to welcome Peavey as part of the Sweetwater family. The philosophies of our companies are so similar; we were even treated to a personal visit and sales training by Hartley Peavey himself." Sweetwater was also named a "Preferred Online Dealer" for Gibson and Epiphone products in 2005. "Our guitar sales have gone through the roof," says Surack. "With the addition of Gibson, Tobias, and Epiphone to our online Guitar Gallery, Sweetwater has become a major player in the guitar arena."

Sweetwater's meteoric growth and stellar performance have not gone unnoticed in the industry. In 2005, the organization garnered the coveted "Indie Retailer of the Year" award from Music Inc. magazine. Sweetwater's online efforts have also received attention - the company's 64,000-page website, Sweetwater.com, was named one of the "Essential Online Resources" for musicians in the June 2005 issue of Electronic Musician magazine.

With a firm infrastructure and strong base to build from, Sweetwater's 2006 sales are projected to increase by at least 17%, with no end to ongoing growth expected in the coming years. "We're already off and running in the first days of 2006," says Surack. "We'll continue to build on our success in 2005 and the years prior to that, with increased staff, innovative new benefits for our customers, a new facility in the planning stages, and even better service and support for our customers."

Surack concludes, "While we're proud of our accomplishments, and excited about what the future holds, we know exactly how we got here: Through the loyalty and support of our customers, vendors, and friends. We can't express how grateful and humbled we are. Our pledge is to continue to offer great service and the greatest shopping experience available anywhere in the industry. Our customers deserve no less than the very best."

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