Classic jukebox supplier hails record year

WHEN the Sultan of Brunei wanted to bop around the palace to classic jukebox hits, he knew there was only one company that could meet his requirements.

The Sultan is one of jukebox maker Sound Leisure's best-known clients.

The Leeds-based company, which employs 115 staff, yesterday revealed that more Britons are choosing to have jukeboxes installed in their homes, so they don't have to travel far to enjoy a touch of nostalgia.

During 2010, the firm's retail arm achieved increased sales, thanks to orders from stores such as Harvey Nichols and Hamley's for attractions such as "talking windows".

The "talking windows" technology allows surfaces such as windows, walls, ceilings and dining tables to act as sounding boards.

Managing director Chris Black said: "Increasing interest from the major stores has grown sales for our loudspeaker systems and interactive audio devices at point of sale.

"This has also been a record year for delivering our classic jukebox models to people's homes, with prices starting at around 4,500, which maybe suggests that people look back fondly when the going gets tough."

Mr Black added: "Lifestyles are changing – people are bringing things into their homes. All these jukeboxes are built in Leeds and shipped around the world.

"Increased home sales of the classic boxes added 250,000 to our 2010 turnover, largely due to our growing reputation for building British and providing the best-quality retro jukeboxes on the market.

"With half year figures ahead of last year, we're encouraged that our new diversifications should push us beyond the previous annual turnover of 6.5m."

Sound Leisure was founded by Alan Black and Eddie Moss in 1978. Apart from the 80,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Leeds, the company also has a hardware and software division based in Nottingham.

Over the last 30 years, Sound Leisure has sold more than 100,000 units around the world.

Last year, one of Sound Leisure's melody jukeboxes appeared with rock stars at the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) concerts that were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Sound Leisure was asked to supply a jukebox for the nine-day musical spectacular, which featured Suede, Noel Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, JLS, The Specials and The Who, along with comedians Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding and Rhod Gilbert.

greg.wright@ypn.co.uk