FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The number one online retailer of music instruments had record setting sales and job growth in 2018.
The Fort Wayne based company had $725 million in total sales last year, up 17 percent from the previous year. Sweetwater also set a record then.
Sweetwater's annual total sales increases have ranged from 17 percent to 28 percent every year since 2010.
The company sold more than 128,000 guitars in 2018, up from 107,000 in 2017. Sales across all product categories were up significantly. Pro audio, synthesizers, drums, guitars and microphone had the biggest increase in sales.
Sweetwater also added nearly 400 employees. About 40 percent of workers are being hired from outside the Fort Wayne area.
In October, Sweetwater announced a major expansion on its US 30 campus. The $76.4 million project will add 350,000 square feet of warehouse space and 30,000 square feet for a event center. More than 1,000 jobs are expected to be added as a result.
“I’m excited about the expansion and what the next few years will bring. From our humble beginnings in the back of a VW bus to the state-of-the-art facility we have today, this growth wouldn’t have been possible without our loyal customers and hardworking employees," said Sweetwater Founder & CEO Chuck Surack.
Sweetwater also saw more students taking lessons at its academy and more people visiting its popular free trade show, GearFest.