Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first update of the year. It was my intention to write an update before Christmas, you would think that after all these years I would know better! As usual the lead up to Christmas was a wonderful, chaotic time with Christmas piano deliveries and the increased demand for tuning. As I sit with the January sunshine streaming through the window, it is a time to reflect on 2023 and look forward to whatever the New Year brings.
In truth, 2023 was a difficult year for everyone in the piano trade. Many of our colleagues around the country reported an unprecedented lack of demand for their pianos during the year. This is surely a result of the troubled economic times that we find ourselves in. On reflection, although it was a challenging year, we must be grateful for the level of business that we experienced at the showroom. When I last wrote an update, we were seeing an increase in visitors, thankfully this continued through November and into the first part of December. We had an influx of very capable, modern used upright pianos that all sold very quickly after arriving at the showroom and a few new upright pianos ordered in wood finishes. After many years of black pianos dominating the showroom, we are seeing an increased interest in fine quality wood finishes, particularly in the Wilh. Steinberg Signature series range.
Looking forward into this year we are hopeful for an increase in visitors but would also settle for a similar year to 2023. Michelle and I are meeting for lunch later this week to discuss plans for the year ahead and will do so with optimism and a passion for the business. Our showroom really does house a fabulous selection of pianos and we will be working to get as many people to see them as we can! Grand piano sales were slow in 2023, this could be a great opportunity for anyone considering a grand piano to explore the options with us this year. Michelle and I both miss the buzz of the showroom in quieter times, introducing our pianos to visitors is such a joy and, one that we never tire of.
During quieter spells I am always grateful to have maintained the piano tuning business. I absolutely love the piano tuning life and over the last thirty-three years have built a wonderful and regular base of customers. All three of our diaries are almost always full, Vicky and Richard both thoroughly enjoy their work. The balance of piano tuning and showroom is always a fine one for me but I enjoy both equally so it can ebb and flow quite naturally. Piano tuning puts food on the table which in turn takes some pressure off the showroom and enables us to operate in the relaxed way that we do. There are obviously fixed costs to cover each month relating to the showroom, but our rural location is in our favour in leaner times. I still allocate each Friday for showroom activity, and the odd run or swim…! Fridays remain an excellent day to welcome visitors for coffee and pianos. You are most welcome, Michelle and I are always pleased to see new or existing customers to indulge in the passion for our pianos!
07778 569839 | www.benwheelerpianos.co.uk