Welcome to another summer update!  With the heatwave over and with threatening skies and rain outside what better time to write a short update. I am pleased to report that the busy period being enjoyed in June, when I last wrote, has continued throughout the summer, it has been great fun. In fact it has been so busy that we have consistently been chasing our tails which is just the way I like it!

I reported last in the last update that the showroom extension work was about to begin. Within two weeks of starting it was completed and pianos were rolled into the new space. It is fantastic, I couldn’t be more pleased with how it has worked out. The builders were amazing, even with visiting pianists putting pianos through their paces they kept working diligently and quietly. Unfortunately for them they worked during the heatwave that we experienced and some of the work, particularly fitting the ceiling, was hot and uncomfortable. We made the decision to insulate above the old and new ceiling which has made a really positive difference to keeping the showroom cool. I am expecting the extra insulation to also help keep heat in during the colder months when the heaters kick in. Anyway, we now have the luxury of the extra space to present out pianos, the grands look amazing with space around them showcasing the pianos in their entirety. Admittedly, we have added a few more pianos to the regular stock but my intention is to not overcrowd the space and end up how we were before the extension! At the moment I have kept Beach’s Crescent with the intention of vacating it, I’ll just leave it a few months to make sure we don’t need the extra building for storage. I do have a few uprights in there that I am reluctant to bring up to Ash Park.

The other really exciting addition to the stock is a range of Kawai digital pianos. Now admittedly digital pianos have never really been my thing. However, we regularly upgrade players from digital to acoustic pianos and it makes sense to take the opportunity to supply the digitals and be a complete piano showroom. I have noticed a drop off in the number of young families visiting us in recent years and speaking to the piano teachers it seems that many of their students start off on a digital piano to see if they take to it before considering a more expensive acoustic piano. Kawai digital pianos work hard to replicate their acoustic pianos, they use their 90 plus years of piano building experience to concentrate on replicating the touch and tone of a real piano With all this in mind I am totally on board with my business supplying Kawai digital pianos, in fact I am really excited to have them in. Neil and Tom from Kawai came to the showroom last week to give us training on the models that we have, I think we have seven in the showroom, which was really helpful. Michelle has been appointed as our digital piano specialist, she will help with most of the enquiries and demonstrations and I will be the backup. We have already sold our first two, a top of the range CA98 and a white CN29 model. Sharad is kindly working on adding our stock to the web site as I write and we are spreading the word amongst our contacts that pupils and students need go no further than Ben Wheeler pianos if they are considering a digital piano purchase!

To launch the new space and stock that we are having an official open day. Invites have gone out to many of our known piano teachers today but all are welcome. The date is the 1st of September and we will be open between 10am and 4pm. If you are reading this and would like to visit on the 1st please do, the more visitors the merrier. We don’t need any formal notice of you coming although a quick email to mail@benwheelerpianos.co.uk to let us know would be helpful just so that we can get a gauge for numbers. There will be offers on our pianos for all visitors to the open day although a return visit to play the pianos on a more peaceful day will probably be advisable. You never know how many people will come to these events, we have chosen a date just before the start of the school term hoping that most people will be back from holidays by then. I reiterate, you are all welcome, and bring a friend or two..! It may be chaotic but I have always enjoyed a bit of chaos!

I am going to refrain from talking about the pianos that we have supplied recently, there have been many a varied choices made. One purchase that really stands out in my mind though is a local infant school that have purchased a brand new Kawai grand piano for the school, how amazing is that! I can’t say which school it is but for them to recognise the value of music to their pupils and to prioritise the expenditure to make such a purchase is inspirational.

I think that is about it for this update. With the showroom extension, the added pianos and digital pianos and the showroom being so busy this is such an exciting time for the business. There is so much positive energy at the moment and we are loving it. I’m not really sure what effect positive energy has but our enthusiasm seems to be spreading as more emails and phone calls come in and pianos go out. Do join us on the 1st September if you can, I’d love you to experience the energy around the showroom at the moment as we embark on a new chapter for the business.

All the very best

Ben

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