Presto Music, the world’s leading e-commerce site for classical and jazz music, sheet music, music books and musical instruments, has announced the re-opening of its store in Leamington Spa on the 12th of April, when coronavirus rules are set to be relaxed and coinciding with the business’s 35th anniversary.
Founded in 1986, Presto Music opened its first store in Portland Street. Threatened with closure in 2001, the business was saved by local entrepreneur Maurice Millward, who promptly brought in Chris O’Reilly (now CEO of Presto Music) to run the business. Presto Music has now developed a loyal customer base over the past 35 years, reaching a worldwide audience following the launch of its e-commerce website in 2001.
Despite Presto Music experiencing its most financially successful year in 2020 thanks to e-commerce, O’Reilly remains a strong advocate for brick-and-mortar retail and is looking forward to welcoming back shoppers in his store on Park Street, in the centre of Leamington Spa.
O’Reillys says: “Browsing through tangible products in a physical store is definitely a more intimate, tactile experience when compared to swiping across a screen. It’s also a place where you can converse with like-minded people who share the same taste as you do. And after a year spent mostly in our own homes, there is a palpable sense of nostalgia for walking around a familiar store you haven’t been to for too long.”
He continues: “The retail sector would’ve been even more severely impacted without e-commerce last year, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the vital role that brick-and-mortar still has to play. Not only do physical stores help drive the local economy, they’re also great for bringing together communities.”
Presto Music counts 49 local employees and is passionate about supporting its community in a variety of ways, for example by putting on monthly concerts that are free to attend for the locals, with a glass of wine in exchange for a donation to Myton Hospice, raising over £1,000 for the charity each year. Additionally, last year Presto Music supported three charities looking out for the vulnerable and less fortunate in Leamington Spa: the Way Ahead Project, Warwick District Foodbank and LWS Night Shelter.
Presto Music also has a diverse pool of musical talent among its staff who arranges and takes part in the monthly concerts, alongside local young guest musicians who have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. Together, the team delivers a beautiful chamber of music combinations for the local community.
Lara Forbes, shop manager of Presto Music, comments “We’ve spent the last few months of lockdown preparing for this day, and along with the friendly, knowledgeable and helpful service, we can also promise an extensive range of bargains awaiting everyone who walks through the door.”
O’Reilly concludes: “While we’re grateful for the success we’ve had online, we’ll always be a local business at heart and for that reason we’re extremely pleased to be back where we belong: among the friendly local faces of Leamington Spa. After a year of lockdowns and social distancing, we are confident people will be looking forward to meeting up again at their favourite stores, including Presto Music. We are really excited to bring the community together through our local initiatives.”