Millers Music expands, adding Foulds Music of Derby to the Group

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MIA Member Millers Music have added Foulds Music into their growing retail group, expanding their reach and providing even more showrooms for customers to try their extensive range of piano and orchestral instruments across the UK…

Across its rich 127 year heritage, Foulds have built a specialist reputation and trusting relationship with musicians in Derbyshire and beyond, helping thousands begin and develop their musical journeys.

Millers Managing Director Simon Pollard said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the Foulds team into our group, their business is a great fit and compliment to our existing showrooms. Being able to continue a business such as Foulds with its reputation and heritage is a real privilege. We hope to strengthen and complement this with our unique approach to music retailing.”

This news comes with our high streets going through an incredibly tough time with COVID-19 restrictions but Millers has undergone somewhat of a revival on the back of thousands of new people taking up music during lockdown. The spring lockdown was pretty devastating, dropping sales over 90% as their stores were shuttered, but their group has innovated, finding new ways to connect with their customers through their website and expanded social media channels.

Simon added “In hindsight we were too reliant on our physical retail business, but since then we’ve restructured and re-engineered our group to better meet the needs of our customers. We’ve digitised everything from our HR systems right through to our customer rental contracts, this has in turn opened up all sorts of new opportunities. COVID-19 has been terrible for so many and obviously there is uncertainty next year but we’re quite optimistic about the future.”

Background

Charles Foulds opened the first Foulds shop in Chapel Bar, Nottingham in 1893, when he bought the Nottingham branch of William Orme’s business. The present Foulds shop in Irongate, Derby opened in 1908, and there were to be further branches in Lincoln, Heanor, Mansfield and Eastwood.

During the period after the First World War, when Arthur Foulds joined his father in the business, there came a period of depression which was to prove fatal for so many businesses, and one by one the branches closed, until finally the Nottingham shop, now one of the country’s biggest music shops had to close.

The Derby shop survived and prospered under its manager James Locke until Arthur Foulds took over management in 1945 on the death of his father, to be joined in 1950 by his own son Philip.

The business established itself as a complete music store pre-eminent in the area, with the growth of new areas such as the emerging Rock and Roll business.

The company has pursued a path of building on its traditional strengths – pianos, orchestral and band instruments and music – with a special emphasis on developing highly competitive rental schemes for instruments and pianos.

www.millersmusic.co.uk