The recent referendum and subsequent announcement that the UK will leave the EU has led to a lower exchange rate of the pound against the Euro. No matter which side of the political coin you are on, current circumstances would suggest that at present the cost of importing anything from Europe is higher and consequently one would think this would not be a good thing for the UK accordion business. This assumption however may not be a correct one.
There are several factors involved, one of which is that our currency has varied between about 1.14 and 1.35 Euros to the pound over recent months and this has clearly had a proportional impact on import costs. However particularly good news for potential buyers is that some companies hold stocks of new accordions bought when the value of the pound was higher and they can offer really good value in the current marketplace. The Scandalli pictured right for instance is a good example of a fabulous instrument in stock and ready to go from AccordionsDirect.com
Dealers we have recently talked to in the business are telling us two things. Firstly sales are and continue to be positive with UK prices being very competitive with Europe and secondly those that warned the ‘world would fall apart’ following the vote to leave seem to be wrong and customers have no fear when spending their hard earned cash. In our industry it would seem we do benefit from our customers having the attitude of ‘Nothing is going to spoil our music!’
Alastair of ScotlandAccordions.co.uk told us “Playing the accordion really does lift the mood and an unexpected benefit of Brexit is the high level of really good accordions traded in part-exchange since the Referendum with cost conscious buyers getting their dream instrument at really good prices. The ‘trade in’ accordions are often mint and represent superb value for money. Trade ins of Borsini, Brandoni, Vignoni, Bugari are examples of the many recent instruments we have recently taken in against new instruments and we now have some great deals on both older and new accordions. I have high hopes for the future but also think this is a great time to get a great deal”. He went on to say “I should also say many of our accordion related products including midi systems are manufactured right here in Scotland and so Brexit has a minimal effect on prices of these systems and retail prices can be held at the same level”.
Another aspect on Brexit sales is that Non UK customers currently have an advantage at the moment as the pound is worth a little less. We have heard reports that buyers from outside the UK are looking for instruments priced in GBP as they are cheaper for those countries using other currencies which have risen against the pound. We are now seeing a situation where foreign customers are actually coming to the UK to buy. With this in mind it stands to reason now is a very good time to buy a new accordion if the dealer has instruments in stock which have been previously purchased when the pound was stronger.
So what next?
When talking to Margaret of AccordionsDirect.co.uk about the subject she said “Predictions for exchange rates are highly unreliable but by using professional services to get both the best exchange rates and by bulk buying to get the best prices possible we can continue to offer really good value. Whilst we can’t predict the longer term possibilities right now and certainly in the short term there are some great buys out there. It should also be said that investment in an accordion is a way of gaining continued pleasure, keeping agile mentally and physically and self-improving oneself. In times of economic change, the activities which tend to increase are long-term at home pursuits e.g. gardening, home improvements, music and perhaps activities like travel and going out tend to decrease. Many customers find that they gain a new lease of life when they take up, upgrade or re-engage with the accordion”.
Is Brexit a bad thing? The truth is although there are many opinions out there no-one can really give a definitive answer yet. One thing is sure 2017 may be a bit harder but hey music does make you feel better so perhaps now is the time to treat yourself after all we only live once!