Cosmo Music – The Musical Instrument Superstore was originally known as Cosmo Guitars. As a small shop in downtown Toronto that imported and retailed guitars, the company was owned by Tom Hebert, the father of Cosmo Music Superstore’s current President and CEO Mark Hebert. Tom’s passion for guitars and music pushed him to originally open the store in 1968. His passion for music has carried down to the next generation.
Two years later, the company rebranded as Cosmo Music and was soon the area’s leading musical retailer. The expansion continued with Cosmo Music offering music lessons in its stores.
In 1971, Cosmo Music relocated to Richmond Hill to accommodate a larger lessons studio and a growing population of students in music lessons. Growing from its origin as a guitar retailer, Cosmo Music soon became a dealer of brass and woodwind instruments. The company also began offering repair services and an extensive fleet of rental instruments. Brass and woodwind instruments would become Cosmo Music’s speciality and leading business segment.
Over the years, Cosmo Music expanded, moved into different locations, and introduced new lines of instruments. With instrument inventories on the rise, Cosmo Music again relocated to a bigger space in 1985, this time a department store location, described as one of the largest music stores in the country.
Construction also began on the prestigious Cosmo School of Music, based at the new location. Opening as its own exclusive facility in 1990, the Cosmo Music Brass and Woodwind Centre became the leading provider of brass and woodwind instruments in the entire province. Rental and repair services also continued to grow over this time. Today, Cosmo Music’s rental fleet covers more than 12,000 instruments.
The company website summarizes, “The dream of the entire Cosmo Music team has always been to create the world’s most exciting and interactive music making environment.”
In 2008, the “dream became a reality” when Cosmo Music combined its retail and music school location with the band centre, extensive repair department and head office to create the Cosmo Music Superstore. A 56,000 square foot facility, the Cosmo Music Superstore is described as one of the largest interactive music stores in the world, which includes a theatre (the Cosmopolitan Music Hall), as well as its retail, rental, and repair services. Today, Cosmo Music serves on average more than 7,500 retail and 800 school clients every week, and instructs more than 2,500 children each week at the Cosmo School of Music.
The Cosmo Music Superstore is a unique, world class facility, declared by many as the world’s biggest and best musical instrument store.
“As one of the world’s largest music stores, what makes us unique is that we focus on services. Our core business model is that we back up all of our sales through rentals, repairs and lessons,” Mark Hebert, President and CEO of Cosmo Music, told The Canadian Business Journal. “Sales are generated through these avenues. Students have to purchase instruments and we can take care of them when they need to have their instrument repaired. A musical education has grown to become a large piece of the Cosmo Music business component.
“It truly becomes an ecosystem, as opposed to just a store at the end of the street, or a music lesson every Wednesday. We are a community. You can get any musical instrument service you need.”
Most recently, Cosmo Music introduced its e-commerce website as the next phase of the company’s expansion, growing through online distribution of musical instruments. The goal is to broaden the company’s horizons through online sales.
“We have a great, seasoned staff, and focusing on service has always been a primary goal of ours,” Hebert concluded. “We give customers a full experience when they come into the store.”
Each year, Cosmo Music hosts several events and concerts at its Cosmopolitan Music Hall in support of its local community. Rooted in the Richmond Hill community, Cosmo Music supports Friends of Music Therapy of the SickKids Foundation. Friends of Music Therapy supports and donates to ailing children by hiring music therapists for these children and their friends and family to experience music and enrich their lives.