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European expansion strategy pays off for Gear4Music

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Gear4Music saw full-year sales rise by more than 50% thanks to a strategy of European expansion.

The supplier of musical instruments and equipment, a Top150 retailer in IRUK Top500 research, today reported total sales of £56.1m in the year to February 28, 58% up on the same time last year. UK sales of £34.9m were 34% up on last time, while sales in Europe and the rest of the world hit £21.3m, 124% up on last time. Customer numbers grew to 339,800 by the end of the year – 49% up on the same time last year.

That follows a year of European growth. The retailer, which trades predominantly online with a showroom in York, opened a Swedish distribution centre in November 2017 and has now opened another in Germany. Between November 2016, when the Swedish outpost opened, and February 2017, its sales in Scandinavia grew by 186%.

Andrew Wass, chief executive officer at Gear4music , said that profits would be “marginally” ahead of forecasts. expectations. “We are extremely pleased with our trading performance over the last 12 months, with 58% sales growth being well ahead of our expectations at the start of the year,” he said. “As expected, we have achieved especially strong growth in Europe and with our Swedish distribution centre opening in November last year and our German distribution centre commencing operations during the last few weeks, we look forward to building on our success on the continent.

“We remain fully focused on our long-term growth strategy of investing in our people, products, websites and operational capabilities, to continually improve the customer proposition and look forward to further progress in the year ahead.”

Last July, Gear4music said it had seen international sales spike following the Brexit vote. Sales to Europe for the first full week following the EU Referendum grew by almost 200%, compared to the same time last year. In the week to Sunday June 19, European like-for-like sales rose by 120%. But that figure increased to 191% in the first full week following the result, from Monday June 27 to Sunday July 3.

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