This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
STEVEN JAMES GUITARS RETAIL


still surprised at the quantity of people he sees taking up a new instrument or upgrading to a better model – an exact contrast to what other specialist retailers have been telling MI Pro lately. “I’m amazed at the number of people learning to play and upgrading their instruments at the moment,” he remarks. In business, five years isn’t a long time, but there’s no denying that Steven James Guitars has come a long way since 2006. According to Sawdon, its stock offering was already pretty broad to begin with, but nothing compared to the dealings it’s now doing. “When we opened the selection was


good, but when you compare our first Christmas to now, we’re turning over about seven times as much and we’ve just had our biggest growth year,” Sawdon


mi-pro.co.uk


With Gibson and Taylor now onboard, Steve James has a high-end offering to rival most guitar specialists.


reports. “We also must have more Rickenbackers on display than any other UK store, with 15 on the wall at present. We had a ridiculously busy summer last year as well and the figures were on a par with the previous Christmas.” Steven James must be doing something


right if stock is flying out the door during a time when most MI retailers are twiddling their thumbs and struggling just to get customers in the door, let alone buying. So what next? With business going so smoothly, the management must surely face the decision to either make an ambitious attempt to move to ‘the next level’ or carry on as normal so as not to disturb all its recent good fortune. The reality, in fact, is somewhere in between. “For now we’re just looking to stabilise


the store and ensure we’re here for the long run, make it look better and perhaps find some other underground brands that aren’t currently available in the UK,” Sawdon added. “We’re working on a new website and we’re going to be putting a


lot into our marketing going forward and building on our social networking presence. We’ve also got a few competitions in the pipeline – we’re giving away a Les Paul signed by Gary Miller, which people can enter in a couple of months.”


A combination of experience, understanding customers’ needs, product selection, clever financial planning and good location is sure to keep Steven James Guitars on the map during these uncertain times and beyond. There can’t be many other independents out there that saw 2011 as their most successful year, storming through a traditionally troublesome summer period in the process. All during what’s supposed to be one of the most difficult times to own a retail business for decades. It will be intriguing to see what happens once the financial storm cloud eventually disappears and everything ‘returns to normal.’ How far could this store go? MI Pro will watch with interest. STEVEN JAMES: 01642 867510


February 2012 51


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76