Music maestros’ innovative ideas gain firm finals place

Chris Hammond, left, and David Cooper of One Man Band
Chris Hammond, left, and David Cooper of One Man Band

A musical instrument store has impressed the judges of the Independent Retailer of the Year Awards with its innovative marketing ideas.

Banbury shop One Man Band is one of five finalists for the awards, whose winner is due to be announced at an ceremony with retail expert Mary Portas as keynote speaker.

Now in their 17th year, the awards were launched by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) to recognise the best independent retailers in the UK and to celebrate inspiring businesses that are leading the way and excelling in challenging times.

While the finalists were chosen on a range of criteria including the quality of products and customer service, the judges were especially interested in forward thinking, innovation and teamwork.

Set up by David Cooper nearly 20 years ago, One Man Band has experienced a surge in sales since it recently began using online video tutorials to promote its commitment to its customers. It is now established as one of the country’s leading suppliers of high-end keyboards.

Mr Cooper said: “We wanted to extend our services to a wider audience so, following some ideas at a sales conference, we established a website – – and started a YouTube channel.

“Our store manager, Chris Hammond, developed specialist skills in video production and the marketing of our services, and we established an online hub to help keyboard players learn more about their instruments. The videos are now giving tips and advice to thousands of players around the world whilst promoting our business here in Banbury.

“Since we launched the help videos 18 months ago, we have had over half a million views and our store has enjoyed a large increase in sales.”