News | 01.02.2021

Lockdown piano news

The team at William Young Pianos are all well and we feel very lucky to still be working, albeit on only a few of our usual services.

Like everyone, Covid-19 has affected our business in many ways. Our piano event hires have been cancelled, of course, as weddings and concerts have all been put on ice. We very much hope that it won't be long before our friends at venues nationwide are able to open their doors again.

Tunings reduced for a while, but we are now noticing a significant increase in tuning requests, as people notice more issues with their pianos after being at home to play them more. Tom is still booking tunings, taking all appropriate precautions when visiting clients' homes.

As expected, Sales have sadly fallen away for the most part because customers cannot visit the showroom, although we have been excited to sell a couple of pianos recently through video calls! Contact-free payment, delivery and tuning have meant that the new owners can use their additional time at home to play the piano, and several clients have mentioned the boost in their mental health that music has given them.

The largest part of our business is the repair and restoration side, and despite several issues with parts costs and availability (compounded recently by Brexit - our German parts now work out at around 50% more expensive with the new import tax), we have been able to soldier on and work through our backlog of large restoration jobs. We have made significant inroads into the 18-month waiting list that we had this time last year, and we're delighted to have brought the waiting time for most renovations down to a more manageable 3 or 4 months. However, enquiries for restorations and repairs remain high, so this may change depending on parts issues and when the other elements of the business are able to restart. We are very grateful to our clients for enabling us all to keep working; as a small company in a small industry, without the huge waiting list of repairs we may well not still be trading.

As the business grows, the inevitable taxes grow with it. From 1 April 2021 the main part of our business, William Young Pianos Ltd, which covers sales and restoration, will be VAT registered. From that date, all invoices relating to restoration, sales, hires and rentals will have to include VAT.

The tuning arm of the business, William Young Piano Tuning, remains separate; it's a much smaller concern, and is well under the VAT limit. So piano tunings will not be subject to VAT for the foreseeable future; we will of course advise our clients if this changes.

We are all very grateful to be able to continue to work and wish all our customers the very best in these challenging times. We very much hope to be able to open up the other elements of the business as soon as it's safe to do so.

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