Lutner SPb Ltd.Long before it was sanctioned by the Soviet Union, Western popular music, especially rock ’n’ roll, was embraced by many of the region’s people. (Just look at the throngs of fans singing along, word-for-word, with Paul McCartney’s 2003 performance in Red Square.) After the Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991, Lutner SPb Ltd. emerged to meet the region’s long-suppressed needs, becoming one of its strongest wholesalers of musical instruments and accessories. Cherub, Evans, Hiwatt, Hohner, Leem, Rico, Paiste, Pro-Mark, Rico, and Strunal (Cremona), Swing, and Vandoren are among the respected brands represented on its ever-growing list of international suppliers. In addition to hundreds of music retailers, Lutner works with many music schools, committees of culture, and other institutional customers.
Russian Distributor Named To Top 50 Growth List
Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, Lutner (“Lyootner”) has been ranked as one of that city’s 50 fastest-growing businesses. During its formative years Lutner’s reach was limited to the Northwestern regions of Russia, but it has since expanded throughout the Federation—including more than 500 distributors “from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka”—as well as parts of Kazakhstan and Belarus. The company is strategically located at an intersection of the nation’s major traffic routes.
Sergey Antonov, a graduate of the Soviet Military Academy, founded Lutner SPb Ltd. in 1998 and remains its CEO. He has built the business upon a reputation for “wise logistic service”—no small feat for a distributor covering vast, multi-time-zone territories (Russia alone occupies nearly 6.6 million square miles) with wide-ranging terrains and climates as well as disparate transportation and infrastructure resources. E-commerce has helped shrink the miles between the wholesaler and its clients, and Lutner has collaborated with suppliers, translating their website content into Russian.
Antonov applauds his conscientious, knowledgeable staff for maintaining close contact with customers and ensuring reliable availability of the most popular products. The company has been rewarded with annual sales growth ranging from 20% to 25%, and its market share is “increasing rapidly.” Throughout the company’s history, but especially recently as the market has been squeezed by tight credit and consumer caution, Lutner’s sensitivity to customers’ distinct regional needs and challenges has remained key to its success. Employees attend to the smallest details, ensuring prompt delivery of not only all ordered goods, but also all required documents, certificates, and translated manuals—as well as prompt settlement of customer claims. “All these aspects are important all the time,” a Lutner commercial director emphasizes, “but especially during the global financial crisis.” Lutner’s 2011 sales topped $12 million.
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