Disco World’s Gone Out Of This World!
Disco World, one of the UK’s best-known lighting/DJ equipment dealers, has opened a new 4,000 sq. ft. store in Hartlepool, which owner Darren Lowery bills as the “ultimate showroom.” Located less than a mile from the retailer’s previous site in this north-east England town, Disco World’s new store is twice as large as its predecessor and offers improved customer amenities, such as a showroom that is all on one floor and plenty of free parking.
With more space, Disco World has also vastly expanded its product selection, which includes lighting fixtures, controllers, media players, mixers, speakers, microphones, stands, and related accessories. What’s more, Lowery says that he is aiming to broaden his customer base and will from hereon in not only carry products for mobile DJs, but also lighting and sound equipment for schools, theaters, stage productions and bands.
But stocking more merchandise isn’t the only reason for Disco World’s move. Lowery also wanted to give his customers a more up-close, hands-on experience with the store’s top-selling product category - lighting - which accounts for nearly half its sales. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of Disco World’s new store is its lighting demo room, where over 50 different lighting products are on display.
The fixtures are rigged up on DuraTruss trussing and controlled by a “touch screen” computer using MyDMX software from American DJ. Over 60% of the lighting in the room comes from American DJ as well, ranging from the popular Revo Series of LED moonflowers, to club centrepiece effects like the Nucleus, to the X-Move Plus moving head and the Mega Bar Series of LED colour bars. The impressive lighting display runs non-stop throughout the day, without need for a staff member to be present.
“We feel it is important that our customers can easily view the lighting as they wish,” explained Lowery. “With our new demo room, we can give them a coffee and they can watch each light, one at a time, without someone standing over them. Or, if they prefer, we can spend time with them showing a selection of whichever lighting they wish.”
Lowery said he got the idea for the lighting demo room after he visited the American DJ booth at the BPM Show. “American DJ used a touch screen with MyDMX to demonstrate their lighting rig – and from that moment I said, ‘I want that!’ Now thanks to the guys at ADJ we have it. (ADJ’s) Kris Dawber and his team helped design the rig, using Quad Trussing from DuraTruss and MyDMX on a touch screen computer.”
Since the new showroom opened in early May, customers are “very impressed, in particular with the lighting room,” reported Lowery. He added that it’s all part of Disco World’s mission to offer superior and innovative customer service, “something a little different.” The store sells both to local retail customers and online, and Lowery says that another big reason for his move was to be able to provide internet customers with higher order fill rates and faster deliveries.
“One of the things that distinguishes Disco World is that we only sell products that we actually have in stock, and on our website we show live stock levels,” he said. “The new building allows us to be more organised – not only is the showroom much bigger, but we have more warehouse and office space. This has allowed us to improve our back office systems, so that we can stock more products and keep offering our fast, next-day service. (On our website) we tell you exactly what we have in stock and not what we think we can get in stock – meaning accurate delivery information.”
Lowery, who opened Disco World in 1999 after working both as a mobile DJ and pub manager, credits his staff, in large part, for the store’s ability to maintain consistently stellar customer service. Helping him run the store are his wife Karen Lowery and staffers Mark Prest and Mick Woolston. Suppliers, too, have played an important role in Disco World’s success, he added. His philosophy is to “work closer with a smaller number of suppliers and build a fantastic relationship with them such as that we have with the team at American DJ, who have been so supportive of our business since we started trading with them.”