Established in 1982 as a branch for Ambros Inc., Shimbros music store has been providing music to Guam in more ways than one. Paul S.N. Shimizu, corporate secretary for Ambros, said the company first did business as a music production company.
“The production side of [Shimbros] […] would handle the talent coming in — the production, the stage, the lighting, the sound system, etcetera,” Shimizu said.
Shimizu said that Shimbros produced concerts for well over a decade, then made the transition to assisting other businesses in producing concerts rather than producing the concerts themselves.
“From there, we basically got out of producing concerts, and what we’ve done now is — our production service is available to help others, to help other promoters and help other producers do their events,” he said.
Shimizu made the transition to retail when an opportunity to capitalize on the market exposed itself. When Gibson’s department store closed, Shimizu said that a friend approached him and asked if he wanted to open up a retail department of Shimbros to fill the hole left by Gibson’s music department.
“I said […] ‘It might be something worth looking into,’ and I’ve never looked back since. So we assumed the lines that Gibson’s carried — most of them, at least. And that was the start of the retail operation.”
From its start in retail, the store experienced major growth and had to transition to a couple new properties in order to meet demand.
“It started to go very well. Then the demand for music lessons started. […] The need for bigger space and more classrooms came about,” Shimizu said. “We started to offer everything from piano lessons, to voice lessons, to a lot of drums, a little bit of guitar.”
Originally, Shimbros opened in Anigua, and after a move to two locations, still needed a bigger space to accommodate its growth.
“The music lessons really, really went well, and the demand was there. That’s the time we moved up to the Maite location, which was the former Gold’s Gym,” Shimizu said.
There the store was able to bloom and even expand in other venues; the space allowed for a coffee shop and had room for recitals and performances.
“It turned out to be a really good location back then,” he said.
Unfortunately, the economy did not share in Shimbros’ prosperity, so Shimizu had to scale down the branch and relocate yet again. He said that, with technology today, retail in the music industry gets very competitive as more and more people turn to online shopping, but the production side of the company is on the rise.
With nearly 30 years backing the company, Shimbros continues to provide audio system sales and rental, stage and lighting rentals, system installation and integration, talent coordination and concert production, according to its website.
Shimbros is back in Anigua and provides lessons and retail services for the island’s musicians and music industries in its 1,500-square-foot storefront.
Shimizu said his ultimate desire for Shimbros is to promote the importance of music.
“Unfortunately […] even in schools, the arts and music department always gets their budget cut, so music programs are always sacrificed. But we have to wake up. Music is such an important part of everyone’s educational careers,” Shimizu said.