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Yorkshire Bank hits right notes for online music retailer


A FAST-growing online musical instruments retailer is stepping up its European sales campaign with a new multi-lingual website and a wider product range.

Gear4Music which sells musical instruments and equipment, is re-launching its website in 22 new languages and increasing its product range by 20 per cent after gaining business development backing from Yorkshire Bank North Yorkshire Financial Solutions Centre (FSC), York, through its Investing for Growth initiative.

The York-based online retailer, founded by parent company Red Submarine Ltd in 2003, is upgrading its website to attract business from more European countries, and adding instruments and equipment including a new range of digital pianos and drum kits during the summer. The European sales drive is expected to create 15 jobs in the next two years.

Gear4Music, York Business Park, sells musical instruments from household name manufacturers including Fender, Gibson and Yamaha, as well as its own own-brand music products and has dispatched more than 90,000 orders in the last 12 months.

Among the company’s customers are educational establishments and musicians, from beginners to professionals, and many of its call-centre staff are musicians, enabling them to support and understand specialist requirements in the selection and order process.

Managing director, Andrew Wass, says: “We already trade throughout the UK and have a presence in Europe and, in spite of the tough economic climate, are on target to take last year’s £9.4m turnover well above £10m this year.

“We are accelerating our penetration in continental Europe because it is many times larger than the UK market and we can easily and economically service customers there. We have some very exciting new products in the pipeline which members of staff here in York have helped to develop.

“Yorkshire Bank North Yorkshire FSC has been very helpful. The funding will allow us to place more orders with our manufacturing partners and ensure we can meet customer demand. The best way to combat an economic downturn is to expand and Yorkshire Bank is helping us to do this with its refreshing, modern approach to relationship banking.”

The business has also recently opened a new warehouse and has more than 53,000 sq ft for offices, showroom and distribution.

Yorkshire Bank North Yorkshire FSC business partner, Brian De Vere, says: “Gear4Music is among Yorkshire’s online success stories combining first-rate customer service and personal knowledge with its online format. This is a significant achievement in the current climate and we are pleased to be supporting the business through our Investing for Growth initiative.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative can enable businesses to take advantage of loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms designed to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses signing up to the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

Yorkshire Bank’s North Yorkshire FSC, Clifton Moor, which has 52 staff and includes an office in James Street, Harrogate, covers the whole of York and North Yorkshire, apart from Craven District, and has the biggest Agri-Business Team in the bank’s UK network and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.

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