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NEWS, OPINION, DATA


What will Oxford have in store for our Mystery Shopper? P48


Steven James Guitars is this month’s Retail Profile subject P50


Stores remain cautious despite strong Christmas


Mystery Shopper Oxford P48 • Retail Profile Steven James Guitars P50 • New Gear P55 • Sheet P62 FIVE SECOND


FACTS Dealers achieve festive sales growth, but consolidation is the key for most


The magic numbers in MI that caught our eye this month...


20


Per cent more income was generated by Symphony compared to Christmas 2010


1854


The year Mann’s Music was established


2009 BY ADAM SAVAGE


CHRISTMAS 2011 saw many stores achieve sales increases over previous years, but retailers remain alert to the financial pitfalls that 2012 is likely to bring. Symphony Music in


Wigan told MI Pro that it was up on Christmas 2010 by an impressive 20 per cent, but due to the store still being in its infancy, store manager David Bamford was refusing to get too carried away. “Christmas was great for us despite footfall being a bit quiet – even in December – but you’ve got to remember that we’re only five years old,” said Bamford. “I certainly don’t think 2012 will be easy and this year we’ll mainly be


www.mi-pro.co.uk


If I can stay on a par with 2011 I’ll be happy, but I


am optimistic. Tim Mann


consolidating, as we’re still a small company. I’m always looking forward, but at the moment we’re just looking to keep on running events and putting on local band competitions, while trying not to become too obsessed with sales figures.” Mann’s Music of Colchester also had a good Christmas and managing director Tim Mann is another retailer who feels that simply keeping a steady ship is the best goal to aim for in 2012.


“We were very busy in December and were up marginally on last year – around three per cent – and that’s compared day-to-day with 2010,” stated Mann. “Last year was difficult all round and everybody’s saying it’s going to be another tough year, so if I can stay on a par with 2011 I’ll be happy, but I am optimistic.” “This year we will try and make the shop look better and we’ll look into revamping the guitar – and possibly the piano – showroom.” One store that’s looking to push on as a result of pleasing festive figures is Red Dog Music, which had such a successful Christmas – and is so confident of further progress in 2012 – that it is looking to open more stores


in the UK. Managing director Alex Marten acknowledged that MI retail is going through a tricky period, but the only way to counter that is to put more effort in. “We’re up a bit on last year and although times are challenging at the moment, that just means you have to work harder. December was our biggest month yet and we’re looking to build on that by doing more marketing and investing in the future,” remarked Marten. “There’s a very strong possibility that we’ll be opening more stores, perhaps in the South. It’s a good time to try and grow, with rent low and less competition around. There are massive opportunities right now.”


The year Symphony Music was given an MIA Award


5,000


The size of Red Dog Music in square feet


25,000


The approximate number of schools Mann’s Music deals with through its Music in Education business


Retail


February 2012 45


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