Clips, Nashville Post

Czech instrument maker establishes local presence

Originally published July 18, 2019 for the Nashville Post

Musical instrument manufacturer Furch Guitars has opened its flagship U.S. distribution and service center in Nashville, part of the Czech Republic-based company’s effort to expand its footprint in the American guitar market.

Located at 1856 Air Lane Drive, the distribution center will handle all U.S. operations for the guitar company. Marc Harris, who has worked more than 20 years in musical product distribution, will serve as managing director.

Previously, Canadian distributor Stonebridge Guitars International handled Furch distribution in the American market. Stonebridge will continue to serve as a dealership for the company.

Being located within the American musical instrument market will help the company improve logistics, CEO Petr Furch told the Post. The cost to undertake the expansion has not been disclosed.

“Nashville is the center of the music industry buzz. Thanks to our new location, we can be part of all current affairs and that is very important for Furch’s future development,” Furch said.

František Furch, the company’s founder, began making guitars in the 1970s, in defiance of the then-socialist Czechoslovakian government’s prohibition on private entrepreneurship. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s, Furch expanded his operation, moving out of his garage and hiring a staff.

Since then, the company has expanded to a global market. It now generates nearly 90 percent of its profits from exports, largely to Germany, Scandinavia and Japan, Radio Prague reports.

Currently, Furch guitars are available at 26 retailers in the U.S., two of which are located in Tennessee — World Music Nashville and Custom Fretted Instruments and Repair in Sparta. With the new distribution center, Furch is planning to enlarge its U.S. dealer network.

“Despite the fact that we came from the other side of the world, our origins are in country, folk and bluegrass music. That music used to bond together all the Czechs who were against the Communist regime,” Furch said. “[František Furch] was also part of this huge community, and we feel privileged to have achieved this milestone, to have a location in the heart of country music.”