The location search for Gear4music’s fulfilment search had two critical criteria: Being close to Nordic customers and meeting increasing demand for quick and cost-effective deliveries.
Gear4music’s additional challenge of shipping often odd-shaped, heavy and fragile items meant that it was imperative to get the location and delivery partners perfect. Delivery to customers in most of the Nordics can now be achieved in 1-2 days.
Sweden has not disappointed. The investment has already paid dividends for Gear4music. Increased demand has meant they quickly outgrew their original 3,000 m2 fulfilment centre and recently upgraded to a 7,000 m2 site, equipping them to meet every day and seasonal demand.
As with any big investment, Gear4music had to evaluate the business costs of a move to Sweden against potential growth and benefits to their customers. Rob said, “Cost of labour is an important consideration. But we’ve found the costs are paid back with a well-educated, loyal and skilled workforce with very limited staff turnover.”Successful companies focus on outstanding customer service and delivering items to customer as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Being in Sweden means we are close to our Nordic customers to meet their needs.
The Swedish business mindset and simple regulatory framework were welcome surprises for the Gear4music team. As a UK parent company, their ambition to build a Swedish company, with Swedish people became a super quick reality from the first initial steps in June 2016 to the first delivery in November 2016.
For international companies, it is important that all parts of the company, regardless of where they are physically located, can communicate and understand operational and business strategy in a common framework and language. The open and frank approach taken by Swedes in business and their ability to speak near-perfect English has meant Gear4music has established deep and long-lasting relationships with suppliers. Ultimately equalling seamless customer service.
While Gear4music are primarily an e-commerce business with logistics a key part of their success, they also needed space for a showroom. Sitting alongside the distribution warehouse, the showroom houses one of Scandinavia’s largest selection of musical instruments – from high end to entry level products providing a unique space for aspiring or professional musicians to ‘play before they buy’.
In the e-commerce market, this is a diversion from the norm and sets a new standard in customer service while still providing the competitive online prices customers expect.
Gear4music’s swift entry into the Nordic market was boosted by Business Sweden’s extensive network and expertise in the region. Practical information and market insight helped distil the location search and identify or eliminate regulatory or geographical obstacles. Unlocking social, cultural and business doors helped Gear4music streamline the fulfilment centre set-up process and establish their presence in Sweden and the Nordics.
The future is set for continuing this finely tuned collaboration.
From humble beginnings in the north of England, Gear4music has rapidly expanded across Europe and the world, supplying the world with over 52,000 items or ‘gear for music’ from the smallest guitar pick to grand pianos and everything in between. Gear4music’s currently has 21 country sites covering 15 languages and three expansive showrooms in the UK, Sweden and Germany.
- An advanced delivery and logistics infrastructure
- Central geographical location that is ideal for serving all Nordic markets
- Simply regulatory framework enabling quick entry to market and an excellent labour force delivering on all aspects of customer service.
- An initial 3,000 m2 fulfilment centre was recently upgraded to a 7,000 m2 site which equips them to meet every day and seasonal demand.
- Increased Scandinavian sales growth with improved delivery times, meeting customer expectations
Gear4music’s strategic investment in Sweden has positioned them strongly in the Nordic market, accelerated growth and improved customer services.