Portsmouth's last piano shop has closed its doors on Albert Road

THE city said goodbye to its last piano shop as Venn Pianos shut its doors at the end of last month.

By Hope Mckellar
Thursday, 10th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 10th October 2019, 11:09 am

Owned by Stephen Venn, who took over from the previous owner in 2008, the shop was a staple in Albert Road, in Southsea since 1985.

Stephen, who is a musician himself, sold high-quality pianos, as well as undertaking tuning services and repairs.

Although he will no longer work from the shop, he will still operate full tuning and repair services, as well as providing second-hand pianos when they are requested.

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Portsmouth's last piano shop Venn Pianos in Albert Road, Southsea has closed its doors.

Stephen said that although the demand for tuning and repairs is still large and he has around 100 clients still requiring this service, people are no longer buying pianos from the shop.

He blamed low-cost second-hand sellers such as eBay for the decrease in demand, saying people are able to get pianos for cheaper elsewhere, as well as the switch to digital music.

He said: ‘It’s partly the change in culture, the way society uses and consumes music.

‘It is all about downloads and creating music yourself.’

However, Stephen found that people were still enjoying the piano and generations were still learning how to play it.

He said: ‘People are still playing and it’s great. I would encourage them to keep playing.’

The 56-year-old is now going to enjoy the ‘simple life’ without the pressures of running a shop.

The shop was originally opened by Marcus Roberts and was called Roberts Pianos until Stephen took over ownership.

Marcus and Stephen worked together for a few years in the store before the takeover.

The nearest piano shop to Portsmouth is in Bedhampton.

The closure comes just a few weeks after Adelphi Books, which had been running for 33 years, announced it would close. Owner Robert Smith’s lease runs out in January and will not be reviewed after a rent hike dispute.

Although Venn Pianos’ owner Stephen said that the rent of his shop was not to blame for the closure, he conceded that it was no longer financially viable due to the lack of demand.