The opening taps into the worldwide surge in people learning the guitar (Fender estimates 30 million have started doing so since the pandemic), and the 8.29% predicted growth in sales of musical instruments in Asia from now until 2028, from $23.76bn to $35.40bn (Statista, 2023).
Located in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku/Omotesando area, the four storey, 11,496 sq ft space was designed by Japanese practice Klein Dytham Architecture to feel more inclusive than traditionally hyper-masculine guitar stores. The sophisticated and airy interior features warm wooden surfaces and plenty of natural light via floor-to-ceiling windows.
The more laid-back aesthetic of the basement space – complete with a red plectrum-shaped rug and padded seating – features a beginner-friendly acoustic guitar section, an events space, a café run by Californian Verve Coffee Roasters, and a care bar for repairs (see our Circular Economy Concept Stores report for more, publishing on August 24).
The first floor houses newly released and hero products (mostly electric and acoustic guitars), artists’ signature models and accessories, displayed on undulating wooden units below curvilinear lights that echo the instrument’s curvy shape. It also stocks the brand’s own unisex apparel collection, F Is For Fender, which is made in Japan.
A second-floor Artists Gallery showcases photos and videos of legendary musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton with their favourite Fender guitar models. There’s also a soundproof Amp Room where visitors can test guitars and amps at full volume, two VIP rooms, and a custom shop with 400 finish samples for bespoke orders.
All floors are connected by a spiral staircase, with walls covered in ‘Hall of Fame’-style imagery of famous Fender players.