…this is a serious guitar shop for serious players or collectors…
On my travels with the 9-5 this week, I find myself at the Olympia Exhibition Centre. Feeling somewhat brain fried mid-afternoon, a Google search later reveals the New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium lies in wait.
Despite the fact the shop is only situated a couple of miles away from Olympia, the traffic (as expected in London) was a nightmare and I’m sure it would’ve been significantly quicker to walk. Car parking was OK – a side road off the main New Kings Road offered a few spaces but expect to pay around £2.20 per hour. Apparently, the nearest tube station is Fulham Broadway, just a 10 minute walk through the picturesque Walham Green.
The shop from the outside seems fairly small (and it is) but the shop window didn’t disappoint, displaying a nice selection of smaller Marshall combo’s and a few quirky guitars.
On entering the shop I was greeted very pleasantly by the two gentlemen working in the store. The first thing that hits you is the amount of guitars for sale – there are loads. If you’re a fan of electric guitars, you’ll be blown away with the selection of vintage Fenders, Gretsch’s & Gibsons (and others) on display and I’m convinced I saw a Zemaitis tucked away at the back of the guitar selection.
The left side of the store predominately consists of electric guitars and amplifiers (although not too many amps), whilst the right hand side of the store displays a mouth-watering selection of acoustic guitars. The selection of acoustics was limited compared to the amount of electrics on display, but the acoustic guitars they had on show looked seriously impressive.
A few guitars had price tags and I struggled to see price tags on all of the instruments. I guess, with a shop like this, if you’re going there to purchase an instrument you wouldn’t even be fussed about the price, as the majority of items for sale are well into the £1000’s. What’s an extra 3 or 4K when you’re already looking at spending £30K? The selection of vintage guitars on show blew me away and is easily on par with the selection often found at Vintage & Rare Guitars.
I enquired about how they generate the majority of their sales and as expected, the response was via the internet, telephone or simply by people dropping into the store. The owner mentioned that significant sales are often made to bands that are passing through London, whilst on tour.
So many guitars caught my eye during my visit to the New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium. First I found myself drawn to the acoustic selection, then my heart strings were tugged whilst drooling over an old early 60’s Stratocaster, then I almost exploded at the selection of Les Paul Goldtops on display, until I finally found myself lusting after an old Gibson hollow body (I think it may have been an old ES330).
The members of staff were talkative enough, but I wonder if they get hacked off with people like myself, who simply turn up to drool over the beautiful instruments, with no intention to make a purchase. I get the feeling they deal regularly with professional musicians – individuals who do enter the store with good intentions to lay down some serious cash.
The New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium is well worth a visit and there’s no doubt about it: this is a serious guitar shop for serious players or collectors.
Have you visited New Kings Road Vintage Guitar Emporium in Fulham, London? If so, please give your Mystery Shopper comments below.