Covid-19 hasn't been all bad news for retailers - so far. For some, it's generated a flurry of activity that's helped offset the loss of sales during lockdown.

Take music. David Love of Taupō music retailer Love Music says the day before the alert level 4 lockdown on March 26, he had a run on guitars.

"I can't remember how many guitars we wound up selling but it was busier than Boxing Day or Christmas."

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The desire to play music is still continuing, with Mr Love saying that in the two days after the shop reopened to the public in alert level 2, he sold between six and 10 guitars.

During the lockdown David was able to continue his piano and guitar teaching online and did some music recording remotely with musician Dan Sharp.

Love Music also operates an online shop and David says once level 3 arrived, the business began promoting the online option more vigorously, gaining 60 to 70 orders to distribute around Taupō.

"People were buying everything digital - pianos, guitars, electronic drum kits, everything," says David. "I don't know why [there was a rush]. I think we had some customers that had been looking at buying things before lockdown and when we got to level 3 I think they were just like 'we're going to do it'."

David says he knows during that rush there were a few people who went out of their way to shop local.

"There's heaps of online competition but us being a small shop doesn't mean we have a small online presence so we have been able to punch above our weight with that. Our local suppliers have been really good about letting us know what they have in their warehouses so we've been able to sell a bit out of that as well."

David says having an online store ready to go before the lockdown was an advantage in helping Love Music keep trading.

"Google are more likely to point people towards shops that have existed for a while rather than ones that have just turned it on at the last minute so we were able to push people that way.


"I like to be pretty hands-on with talking people through things in the shop but I was up till quite late most nights answering queries and using our Facebook messenger and dealing with that so it [lockdown] definitely wasn't a break."

David says building an online store can be relatively cheap. Love Music used an online template builder called Rocket Spark which costs around $700 per annum which he says has well and truly paid for itself.

David says with talk of a recession on the way, he's concerned about what the future holds for Love Music. All they can do is carry on, and continue building relationships, he says.

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