Happy New Year and welcome to the first update of 2017.

After an incredibly busy end to last year we are now rested and full of enthusiasm for the year ahead. My last update was written in November after a quieter spell in the showroom; my prediction of a busier time ahead was correct and we enjoyed a frantic pace at the showrooms in November and December with many pianos selected, prepared and delivered before the end of the year. After closing up for the festive period we are now planning activities for the year ahead with lots to look forward to.

The open day event that we held in December proved to be a great success and great fun. Many pianos were chosen with customers taking advantage of the support given to us for the event by our suppliers. New pianos from Kawai, Grotrian-Steinweg and Feurich were lined up awaiting preparation and delivery with a couple of models still awaiting delivery when Neil returns from France next week! The event is certainly something that we will look to repeat again, perhaps in the Autumn again depending on the weather. The most pleasing thing about the event for me was that it was advertised through friends of the business; piano teachers, music teachers piano tuners, schools that we look after etc. As such most visitors were actually recommended to us which is the very best situation, the atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable. There were times when it got a little chaotic with many pianos being played at the same time, this was fine for the event days but it reinforced the importance of the showroom appointment system that we normally operate. A peaceful environment and plenty of time to discuss and offer advice are essential to the character of our business and the service that we like to give.

The end of 2016 saw the arrival of our first Shigeru Kawai grand piano, there was much excitement over this arrival! Shigeru Kawai pianos are hand crafted in Japan and offer a build quality and performance to rival any other piano in the world. I had very little experience of Shigeru but when Kawai recently offered me the opportunity to stock these models I jumped at the chance based on the success of the fabulous Kawai GX range. When it arrived and the delivery team had left I sat at the piano with a completely open mind and was not disappointed. The piano has exceeded my expectations in every way and will undoubtedly be a great addition to our stock. The tonal quality is exceptional, the touch responsive and dynamic and the presentation of the instrument impressive and of the highest quality. I can truly say that the Shigeru Kawai can compete in performance against anything, including far more expensive pianos from Europe, this is without doubt the finest Japanese piano I have ever seen. Kawai pianos have been a great success for us due to the quality of their pianos and the value for money that they represent, the addition of Shigeru to our stock is such an exciting thing! Our sales of Kawai pianos increased by nearly 50% in 2016, with the Shigeru in our regular stock 2017 could prove to be even more successful. Come and play it, I say this to many people and I really mean it, for no other reason than to try the piano you are welcome to visit!

I must finish this update now as I have a customer appointment soon to try a Kawai K300 ATX. This is an acoustic piano that has the added benefit of becoming silent with the use of headphones, you can even attach your tablet to it and enjoy many different voices and a recording facility. We don’t always stock an ATX due to my aversion to technology but 2017 may well see a change to this, I am beginning to see the benefits..! Michelle and I are due to sit down tomorrow to start planning the year ahead hoping to attract as many customers as possible to see our pianos. I don’t envisage much change this year, just more of what we have been doing, spreading the word and meeting as many people as possible. We had a couple of piano teachers visit towards the end of last year that know us well but haven’t actually been to the showroom before. They were amazed by our collection of pianos, even though we had told them all about the showroom nothing compares to actually visiting and experiencing the depth and quality of our stock.

All visitors are welcome, phone, email or even text to arrange a visit.

All the best

Ben

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