Dawsons Music Transform Flagship Store In Reading

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UK musical instrument retailer Dawsons Music has given their flagship store in Reading a major refit, but the changes are more that purely cosmetic.

A great music shop... should be somewhere musicians feel welcome and relaxed and encouraged to try new things. An environment in which people can discover and experiment and learn.”

MI retailer, Dawsons Music, has given their flagship store in Reading, a major refit. When the store first opened in November 2005, the large queues of people, some of whom had camped out overnight, were wowed by what they discovered inside the outwardly unassuming building on Caversham Road. Now the company aims to take the experience to a new level.

Every inch of the store has been redeveloped, from walls and ceilings to flooring and lighting. The transformation features new digital signage in the form of large plasma TVs and interactive iPad installations, the most extensive Yamaha “Homeworld” piano and keyboard experience area in the UK, a new “Roland Planet” experience area, the biggest Boss guitar pedal wall in the UK, an all-new interactive DJ and Music Production area and two new private, air-conditioned demo rooms. However, Dawsons are keen to point out that progress is more than skin-deep as the company strives to challenge some common preconceptions of musical instrument shops.

“This is so much more than just a fancy re-fit” enthuses Managing Director Mark Taylor. “This is about creating a musicians’ haven. A great music shop should look the part and be an exciting place to visit, yes, but it should also be somewhere musicians feel welcome and relaxed and encouraged to try new things. An environment in which people can discover and experiment and learn.”

This emphasis on interactive and education experiences is reflected in a special programme of evening workshops and clinics that Dawsons will be holding in the store over the coming months. The store will be hosting at least one per week until the end of November. These clinics will cover everything from introductory courses on DJ and music production techniques, to drumming skills, beatboxing and more advanced subjects such as a guitar synthesis workshop, which will be presented by Paul White from Sound On Sound Magazine in October.

“The emphasis on our in-store events is very much about satisfying a thirst for knowledge” explains Taylor. “Musicians have a great appetite for learning. A workshop aimed at teaching people how to record their music, or how to create different guitar tones for example, is so much more useful to a musician than a mere demonstration of a product which may or may not serve someone’s purpose.”

The store has continued to trade throughout the process but will officially relaunch on Saturday 8th September. In early September people will be able to have a virtual tour of the Reading store online via Google Streetview, in the same way they can for the Dawsons Manchester store.

Editors' Notes

·    The store has the most extensive Yamaha “Homeworld” experience area in the UK carrying the full range of Yamaha keyboards and a wide range of Yamaha acoustic and digital pianos
·    The stores Roland “Planet” experience area makes Dawsons Reading the only store in the UK to stock the entire Roland keyboard range
·    The store has over 1,000 guitars including the big four brands - Fender, Gibson, Epiphone and Ibanez
·    Two air-conditioned demo rooms
·    The store boasts the biggest Boss pedal wall in the UK
·    Giant Roland Cube amplifier (6ft high)
·    The store has a dedicated Kawai piano area
·    D’Addario and Planet Waves string wall
·    The counter is fashioned from Marshall guitar cabinets
·    The store boasts an extensive interactive DJ and Music Production area featuring Pioneer, Numark, Akai, Focusrite and Native Instruments
·    The Music Production department also comprises an entire wall of controller keyboards plus synths by Korg, Roland, Yamaha and Nord
·    The store has dedicated Roland and Yamaha digital drum areas
·    On the 8th of September at the official re-launch the company will giving away an electric guitar an hour in a prize draw



About us

Established in 1899, Dawsons Music is one of the longest-serving musical instrument retailers in the UK. The company currently operates 11 retail stores, an ecommerce website and a dedicated Education Department, supplying schools and colleges. More… http://www.dawsons.co.uk/about-us

Recent History

2011 saw the arrival of new Managing Director, Mark Taylor, the opening of new stores in Leeds and Huddersfield and the launch of a new ecommerce website.

In 2012 the company is expanding its web and purchasing departments with new recruits and is currently seeking new opportunities for growth. Earlier in 2012 Dawsons became one of the few UK retailers to have the inside of one of their stores (Manchester) featured with a virtual tour on Google Streetview.

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Lawrence Pickup

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