Gear4Music

Company information

Face the music

With a track record of growth and international expansion since its launch in 2003, Gear4music is the largest UK-based online retailer of musical instruments and music equipment, employing more than 460 staff.
In the past four years, Gear4music has moved into new headquarters in York, set up distribution hubs in Sweden and Germany, and opened a software development office in Manchester. “International expansion has been a huge growth opportunity for us, which has been possible due to the multilingual and multicurrency platform we’ve built. We now deliver to over 190 countries, with nearly half our revenues coming from outside of the UK,” says Andrew Wass, founder and CEO.

From 2015 to 2020, Gear4music revenues grew from £24m to £120m, and as the business has expanded, it has invested £12m in designing and building a bespoke ecommerce platform specifically for the music equipment market. The platform has 20 international versions spanning 15 languages, which has aided its international expansion.

Joining AIM has helped Gear4music, including providing it with access to funds that have aided its development and expansion into Europe. “Being a quoted company also provides a level of reassurance for our trading partners, helping to raise our profile with both customers and suppliers,” Andrew explains.

“The success of a business is always determined by its people, and creating a supportive, team-based mentality within a positive working environment is just as important as the right training and equipment,” says Andrew. This is why Gear4music always takes the approach of ‘investing ahead of time’ into its teams and people, to help drive growth.

For businesses starting out, Andrew has some advice: “You have to be confident in your ideas while being realistic, plan meticulously but accept those plans may change. Most importantly, you need to work incredibly hard, and never ever give up,” he concludes.