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Leamington Spa music business celebrates 20th anniversary with visit from MP

4 August 2021
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Presto Music, the world's leading e-commerce site for classical and jazz music, sheet music, music books and musical instruments, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its high performing e-commerce website. To mark the occasion, Matt Western, the Member of Parliament for Warwick & Leamington, visited to store on Park Street, Leamington Spa, to congratulate the team on two decades of sustained business growth and success. 

Founded in 1986, Presto Music opened its first store in Portland Street, Leamington Spa. Threatened with closure in 2001, the business was saved by a local entrepreneur, who immediately brought in Chris O’Reilly (now CEO of Presto Music) to run the business and recruited David Ferrer to launch a website. Presto Music has since gone on to become the UK’s leading e-commerce platform for classical and jazz recordings (CDs, DVDs, vinyl and high-quality downloads), printed music, music books and musical instruments.

Chris O’Reilly said: “Taking the business online at the height of the dot-com bubble was certainly a massive gamble at the time, so we’re glad to be here twenty years later to say that it ultimately paid off. With the benefit of hindsight it was a smart, forward-looking decision that allowed Presto Music to establish a presence in the digital sphere, as well as build and nurture a loyal customer base long before countless e-commerce businesses came along.”

He added: “Our first order was on the 4th August, 2001 and included Weber Symphonies 1&2 on Naxos, and Suk String Quartets on CRD. Today our online catalogue includes more than 1 million products.”  

Matt Western said: “Companies like Presto Music are invaluable to our town. We always want to see local businesses flourish, so the fact that Presto has grown over the past twenty years to become a high performing online business with a customer base that goes beyond our national borders is a truly inspiring success story.” 

Matt Western’s visit to the Presto Music store follows the recent announcement of the company’s overall business growth of 18% during the 2020-2021 financial year, making it Presto’s most successful to date during what can only be described as turbulent economic times. This unprecedented growth can be attributed in large part to sustained customer demand for classical and jazz music throughout the lockdown period.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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