New Wolverhampton music shop owner hoping to 'bring life back to city'
The owner of a new music shop in Wolverhampton is hoping his store will be in the city for years to come after two long-standing establishments shut down.
JD’s Music, on Market Square, Salop Street, was the first music shop to open following the closure of One Way Music and Big Deal Music.
Owner Jake Hall, from Wolverhampton, said the demise of popular stores spurred him on to follow his dream and open his own shop.
“When One Way Music and Big Deal Music closed it was terrible," he said.
"It meant that in Wolverhampton there weren't really any music shops, so we decided it was time to bring some life back to Wolverhampton.
“The market moving to Snow Hill took away the foot traffic to them, which was a big blow. Constant roadworks and a lack of parking near the shop also contributed to its closure.
“Andy Neville, who used to work at One Way Music, has been a huge help to us. He helped with our set-ups, gave us advice on where to buy our stock from, how to book inventory, and really pushed the shop on social media along with his friend Pete Kent.”
One Way Music, also located on Salop Street, closed its doors in 2020 after 38 years of trading.
While Big Deal Music, which opened in 1993 and was owned by Guitar Shows UK organiser Neil Cable, closed in 2018.
JD’s Music offers a wide array of instruments, accessories, one-to-one lessons, and a recycling service that takes in used instruments, fully services them, and resells them for further use.
Following the success of his specialist Apple product shop, The Macbook Specialist on Snow Hill, Jake opened the shop in October after having to postpone its grand opening by a week due to a lack of stock caused by worldwide supply shortages.
He said: “It took us a while to open the shop because of a shortage of materials when it came to refurbishing the space, which also affected our suppliers when it came to their stock. It made it harder for us to get guitars, cables and amps.
“A combination of a worldwide shortage of wood to make guitars, microchips, Brexit, and the Suez Canal troubles also made it harder for us to get inventory.”
Since opening, JD’s Music has been well received by the public and musicians in the area, spurring Jake and his staff on with plans for the future.
He added: “We’ve started to really specialise in used gear. Especially in this current climate we are a big advocate for recycling.
“Music gear can last for a very long time. You can have things from the late 1960s that are still in perfect working order.
“We accept trade-ins and buy used gear, we put a six-month warranty on it and fully clean and test it so that these instruments don’t just get thrown away.
“It's something that a lot of larger stores don’t do, so it’s something we can’t wait to push and expand on.
“We’ve put a lot of money and effort into the website so I’m looking forward to expanding that so people can order online and we can start to stock some of the larger brands.
“We hope to be in Wolverhampton for a long time.”
Ashley Edwards, a guitar technician at JD's Music and guitarist in Midlands metal band Suffer, enjoys being able to work in a field he is passionate about and help the next generation of musicians find their first instrument.
“I used to work at Big Deal Music and did a lot of guitar shows with Neil and demoed instruments for customers there, which is what I do now at JD's Music,” the Bridgnorth musician said.
“My uncle took me to buy my first guitar at 12 or 13 years old from Musical Exchange in Birmingham, which is sadly no longer open, and now I get to watch young musicians come into the shop to buy their first instrument.
“It's great to see that despite many music shops closing, playing an instrument hasn’t died and they don’t just want to make music on a computer.
“I think what has contributed to the decline in music shops is the rise of online shopping. The high street, especially independent shops, are struggling to compete with online retailers.
“As convenient as online shopping is, when it comes to buying instruments, you don’t get to feel and play it before buying. And when you’re spending a lot of money on an instrument, it's a big risk.
"You also don’t get the personal experience you get in an independent store like ours.”