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Gear4music (Holdings) plc
CEO and founder Andrew Wass, was a sound recording engineer in 1995 when he identified an opportunity to supply small recording studios and educational establishments with personal computer based digital recording solutions.
In 2003 Andrew began to research the potential to retail own-brand beginner level musical instruments, with the intention of opening up the market by selling at lower prices than traditional music shops. After visiting several international exhibitions in the USA and China, Andrew placed a bulk order for guitars and listed them for sale on the then new gear4music.com website. The website generated £0.7m of revenue in its first full year of trading.
In March 2012 a private equity investor, Key Capital Partners, invested in the Group providing the funding to further develop the e-commerce platform.
The Group relocated to its current UK-distribution centre in York in 2013 adding significant distribution and storage capacity, and shortly after opened a 9,000 square feet showroom. A new 10-year lease was entered into in 2018.
In 2015 the Group listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, generating £10.3m of gross proceeds and £9.0m of net proceeds after expenses and seller sales, of which £4.6m was used to repay private equity debt in full, leaving £4.4m of growth capital. In October 2016 the private equity house sold their final shareholding in Gear4music.
In 2016 the Group opened its Swedish distribution centre and followed this up in 2017 with the opening of a second European distribution centre in Germany.
In 2017 the Group completed a deal to acquire a software development business which had the effect of bringing software development in-house, and later that year acquired a 50,000 square foot freehold office property in York and relocated the Head Office team to the new headquarters.
In 2018 and further to continued Scandinavian growth, the Group relocated and expanded its Swedish distribution centre to add further capacity to meet demand over coming years.
In 2021 and in response to the UK leaving the EU, the Group strengthened its European distribution network with the addition of new logistics hubs in Ireland and Spain.
In December 2021 the Group acquired AV Distribution Ltd trading as AV Online, an online retailer of Home Cinema and HiFi equipment, and in January 2022 launched AV.com