Dawsons Music

Dawsons Music & Sound, often referred to as Dawsons or Dawsons Music, was a musical instrument and consumer audio retailer with headquarters based in Haydock, Merseyside, UK.

Dawsons Music & Sound Ltd.
Dawsons Music / Dawsons
IndustryMusical instruments
FounderJohn Dawson
DefunctDecember 2021
ProductsMusical instruments and consumer audio equipment
Number of employees


Dawsons Music was established in 1898 in Warrington by John Dawson, a piano tuner, who opened the shop to cater for growing demand from people wanting to buy new instruments.

The company was owned by CH & JA Dawson Ltd until 1980, when it was purchased by Thomas David Briggs MBE. In 2010, Mr Briggs was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, responsible for a range of civic duties in the Cheshire region. Thereafter in 2011, Mark Taylor was appointed as Dawsons' new managing director. His appointment made him only the fifth managing director in the company's 115-year history.[citation needed]

In 2014, Dawsons announced its trading results over the 2013 Christmas period were the strongest in its history,[1] and it became one of the first retailers in the UK to report how sales from mobile devices were quickly catching up with sales from traditional online sources.[2]

In November 2018, the Briggs family sold all interest in Dawsons Music to turn-around specialist SKG Capital.[3]

In March 2019 Dawsons announced that they will close their Warrington store, ending its 121-year retail presence in the town[4] and also its Altrincham and Huddersfield outlets.[5]

September 2019 saw announcements by Dawsons Music with regards to the termination of their recently promoted CEO, Mark Taylor,[6] and also the sale of their Sankey Street head office and subsequent relocation to Centre Park.[7] As well as the new headquarters the company revealed an updated logo and their ambitious plans for the future.[8]

On 20 April 2020, the board of Dawsons Music filed a Notice Of Intent to appoint Administrators (NOI), and KPMG was later appointed financial control of the business as it entered administration.[9]

On 20 May 2020, it was announced that a new buyer for the business had been found and the company now trades under the name Dawson Music & Sound Ltd.[10] In July 2020 the company moved into a new head office and warehouse location in Haydock, Merseyside.

Due to challenging trading conditions, including the Covid pandemic, reduced high street footfall and increased online competition, Dawsons entered administration again on 1st September 2021, with all stores closing as a result.[11] The company ceased trading and was officially dissolved 1st December 2022.

2011 England RiotsEdit

Dawsons' Manchester store was one of many United Kingdom city centre locations hit by the 2011 England Riots. Thousands of pounds worth of musical instruments and equipment was stolen, and the store was heavily damaged.[12]

Dawsons and Farida GuitarsEdit

In 2004 Dawsons began working with Farida Guitars as the sole UK distributor. Through its association with Dawsons, Farida established relationships with artists like Frank Turner, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Vaccines, creating limited edition 'signature' guitars for each artist.[13]


  1. ^ "Dawsons Music hits a high note". BBC News. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Mobile is Half of Online Traffic at Dawsons Music Store | Mobile Marketing Magazine". Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Dawsons Music sold to private equity firm | Musical Instrument News". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  4. ^ "A fixture of Warrington high street to close after 121 years". A fixture of Warrington high street to close after 121 years. Newsquest. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Music shop Dawsons to close after more than two decades in Altrincham town centre". Altrincham Today. Hyperlocal Today. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Dawsons Music sold to private equity firm | Dawson's Music – announcement". Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Dawsons moves HQ to new site near town centre after closure of historic store". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Rebrand and new marketing team for Dawsons Music". Prolific North. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Musical Equipment Retailer Falls Into Administration". Insider Media. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Historic Warrington firm Dawsons Music is saved from collapse by new buyer".
  11. ^ "Dawsons Music sold out of administration again with the loss of 48 jobs | TheBusinessDesk.com". North West. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Riot victim Dawsons 'sickened' | TheBusinessDesk.com". North West. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  13. ^ 4. Vaccines website - "Freddie's Guitar Now on Sale — THE VACCINES — News". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014