The 'Lewis Eady' Reinvention
WOULD YOU LIKE A COFFEE WITH YOUR STEINWAY OR A DATE SCONE WHILST YOU WAIT FOR YOUR GUITAR TO BE RESTRUNG?
As we enter the New Year, the elves at Lewis Eady have been busy reinventing the business over the summer break.
I am delighted to launch our new website and showroom facilities which includes amongst other things a café aptly named ‘NOTE’ which opens on the 2nd of February.
Over the past few weeks it has been very interesting talking to our customers - old & new - about the changes and why I have made them, so I thought it appropriate to explain more in our launch BLOG.
Like many small businesses, Lewis Eady struggles against a multitude of issues facing retailers. Being ‘established’ actually makes our job more difficult in many regards as it is easy to become ‘outdated’.
Many of you will remember the closure of Kirkcaldie Stains department store in Wellington last year. Like us, they were an old established business. The reason they gave for their closure was that they struggled to compete as a single outlet business against multi store chain businesses. I empathise with this, as we are in a similar position however the business also came under fire for not keeping up with the times.
It is necessary for all businesses to ‘reinvent’ themselves on a regular basis in order to avoid obsolescence, particularly in retail. The challenge however is how to go about it in a cost effective way whilst also addressing the key issues that we have.
Many of these issues are industry defining and will eventually lead - I believe - to the demise of much of the retail sector in the next decade.
The single biggest threat is of course internet sales. As these increase, sales from bricks and mortar decrease. Some of our customers suggest we should compete by having our own e-commerce site. We have tried this however the majority of internet musical instrument sales are in fact to overseas sites where some products can be purchased cheaper than what we can buy them for wholesale!
Every week we have customers come in who have purchased instruments online overseas. They come in because they have a problem with their purchase and there is no recourse with the seller.
SO WHAT HAVE WE DONE AT LEWIS EADY?
Firstly I have gone through the entire showroom and renovated. We now have the most stunning musical instrument showroom in New Zealand and I would argue possibly in the world. Don’t believe me? Come and see for yourself!
We have decided to focus on our core strengths – Pianos, Guitars and Music Education, however we will still be importing harps, school percussion and print music. We have added to this Geneva Sound Systems and a café - NOTE | Coffee & Eats, which will be open from 6.30am until 5.00pm offering Eighthirty coffee, fabulous eats, from breakfast to take away dinners.
We are committed to providing you with the very best customer service. Purchasing a quality guitar or piano should NEVER be done online. You need our expertise as we are committed to finding the right instrument for you.
Essentially we are no longer a ‘Musical Instrument Supermarket’ but more a boutique business where you can get the best advice from friendly experienced staff, all whilst shopping in a beautiful environment and sipping on a silky smooth latte.
What could be better?
We look forward to seeing you in store very soon...