The Future Of Millers Music: A New Dawn
At Millers, our goal has always been “To inspire more musicians, helping them to make their musical dreams come true”. It is this vision that drives our team and everything we do. Music is about so much more than selling a product, it is an investment in time and money, a pursuit of passion, life-enriching and life-changing. We believe that this deserves more than a simple sale and that by truly understanding our customers and their needs we can provide the best opportunity to achieve their musical goals.
Over the past year, there have been plenty of challenges for us in achieving this vision. From having to close our showrooms for eight out of twelve months, to completely transforming our website including building a new warehouse operation almost overnight. Time and time again our team has shown fantastic innovation, willpower and skill to help overcome these challenges, continuing to inspire people to take up music and in this regard music has succeeded. More people than ever have taken up musical instruments or come back to them finding the joy that music can bring.
I wrote an open letter to our customer in late March 2020, in it I referenced the famous quote “the darkest hour comes just before the dawn” and so it is with Millers. Today I’m pleased and proud to announce the dawn of a new Millers, one built with everything we have learnt during 165 years and particularly during the last 14 months. We know not everyone will agree with every change but we hope you will understand that we are doing this for the long-term interest of our customers, our business, and music in the communities in which we all live. Millers does great work supporting our customers but we also do charitable and philanthropic work developing music and we can only do this if we exist and succeed as a business.
We are going to do what we always did very well.
- We’re going to curate a range of the world’s best instruments and accessories, we have visited the factories ourselves and will stand behind each and every instrument we sell.
- We are going to continue and expand our industry-leading rental scheme, focusing on piano but will look to develop an orchestral offering.
- We are going to develop our blog and social media channels to bring the best content to you on the channels you already use
- We’re going to do far more to support teachers, many of whom have been badly impacted by the pandemic
There is no doubt that the advent of online shopping had already changed high street retail but this change accelerated during the pandemic. As our showrooms reopened in April, it became obvious that the needs of many of our customers had changed. As an independent, general music retailer we had everything from sheet music to single guitar strings, grand pianos to plectrums, saxophones and cellos.
We know many of our customers value great service and a great experience, both of which we strive to provide, but there are areas where it is simply not possible to sustainably provide this service. Whilst we are sorry for the customers who valued this we must also recognise the economic reality, it is this innovation that has ensured Millers survived some 165 years.
Not only that, the wave of new musicians created during lockdown has created a very unique problem that has been compounded by the #Chipaggeddon crisis. Supply chains of key lines of digital piano continue to be disrupted and this looks to continue well into 2022. As the rise of online retailers has amplified vastly over the past year, the value of many high quality instruments has been slashed. To compound this, in many areas manufacturers are either now selling direct or have plans to sell direct to customers.
So what does all this mean?
Simply put, Millers needed to change to meet the needs of our customers. In order to continue to provide amazing service, we have elected to continue to focus on what Millers, Cookes and Foulds have been best known for over our group’s collaborative 300+ years, where we are able to deliver the best service possible… our piano business. We have already changed much of what we do to provide stronger relationships, better understanding of our customers and their needs, more personalisation, and ultimately more value.
As a result we are currently running a mass clearance promotion on a range of instruments. We aim to transform our showrooms into dedicated acoustic, digital, silent and hybrid piano spaces with a selection of key orchestral lines available too where space allows.
As such, we currently have an enormous range of instruments currently on sale at incredible discounts whilst we clear through our previous stock, so if you have been wanting to learn a particular instrument for a while or have been looking for an upgrade to you current saxophone, violin, cornet or clarinet, now is the time!
If you are currently renting an instrument from us then this will continue as normal.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support over the years and embrace this new chapter in the Millers Music story!
For those of you who would like to know more please contact me directly via email or on social media LinkedIn.
Managing Director of Millers Music, Cookes Pianos and Foulds Music