Three years into the recovery from the Great Recession, the Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria is getting back to normal.The company, a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments, has two factories, one in New York, the other in Hamburg.
Click here to jump to the photos >
Sales for the company were hit in the New York area and across the world during the recession, with ‘hobbyist’ buyers cutting back on spending.
At the time, Steinway also cut a third of its New York staff, reducing the Astoria factory head count to 215, from about 300.
But the New York market recovered pretty quickly. In fact, in 2011 the company sold 2,013 grand pianos, not including upright pianos, and the New York factory dispatched 1,101 pianos.
While the company made adjustments to its workforce and cut costs during the recession, Losby said the company did also find opportunities to benefit from.
“We acquired five retail stores during this, which is a huge amount for us because we doubled in the last three years our retail footprint in the America’s. What this provided was an opportunity for us to secure leases at rates that were significantly less than what they had been two, or three or four years ago.”
In the last decade the company averaged about 3,300 grand pianos a year, a number that President Ron Losby expects the company will return to soon.
In fact, Losby says the New York market has already recovered well and he is optimistic about sales in the future.