Maybe it just means that people are buying real instruments

Can't read the whole article atm, but maybe, given the current mainstream scene people are more interested in keyboards, drums and basses as they're more prominent in the electronic and hip-hop influenced musical landscape? Just a thought.

I'll start worrying when the sales of instruments in general start going down, that'd be more alarming.
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Could be. The article mentions how much in debt Guitar Center is and how much Fender, Gibson and PRS have dropped in annual sales but didn't discuss other instruments although the big debt at Guitar Center might mean it is across the boards with all instruments. Good article.
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eastwood guitars shared this article on fb earlier

"Interesting article by the Washington Post. We're glad to say that's not quite our experience... but the future for guitars depends on one single thing: YOU, the guitarists. There IS hope!!! (but sure, super-expensive guitars aimed at trust fund casual players won't help anyone...😜 )"

i'm inclined to agree with their description of PRS/Fender/Gibson
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I don't really see this as being problematic or unexpected. Guitar players take the popularity of their instrument in the second half of the 20th century and its ease of available for granted big time. Historically, instruments become popular and then fall out of popularity. Lutes, viols, mandolins, tenor banjos, etc were all arguably the most popularity instrument in Western culture at some point. Hawaiian music, ragtime, and Western swing were all once widely popular in the US. Trends die. All there is to it. I'm not sure that I see the guitar dying out in popularity as a bad thing. Doesn't really affect anyone that plays the instrument. Besides, guitar really isn't the end-all, be-all instrument that most guitarists make it out to be anyway.
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   Electronics  simulate instruments so easily these days kids just don't take the time and persistence required to learn an instrument like a guitar. Except  for girls. They seem to pick it up anyway. Females have better dexterity anyway, so  it's probably easier for them.