Pearl Musical Instruments is a multinational corporation based in Chiba, Japan with a wide range of products, predominantly percussion instruments. The company established a European logistics center in the Netherlands in 2002 to cater to the entire European market, including Russia and Eastern European countries. The office and warehouse of Pearl Music Europe (PME) is located in Belfeld, near Venlo, in the province of Limburg.
“We chose the Venlo area for its proximity to a major entry port, Rotterdam, which is a better port for us than Hamburg,” said Jeroen Breider, European Branding Manager for Pearl Europe B.V. “In addition, Venlo is very well known as a logistics center, with excellent communication and transport systems, enabling fast and efficient distribution for Pearl’s products throughout Europe. Since Germany is one of our most important markets, our proximity is vital.”
Pearl had been based in the UK, but the company felt that they needed a location that was more centrally located in continental Europe. The Finance Director, Will Lipscomb, contacted the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) London office to begin the search, and from there LIOF, the Limburg Development and Investment Company, was able to help with the search.
“LIOF offered us a lot of support and assistance in our search,” added Breider. “They provided us introductions to companies in the region, such as Deloitte, Seacon and AKD. We also received support in hiring personnel, getting legal assistance, and in planning. The main reason we ultimately chose to locate in the Venlo region was because of LIOF’s assistance.
The logistics center employs about 50 people, most of whom are Dutch. However, there are international employees from Germany, Austria, Sweden, Japan and the UK. Will Lipscomb, a UK national, commented that he finds Dutch people to be more straightforward in comparison to British people. He also found them to have a strong business and family orientation, with a good work ethic. Finally, and most importantly for Pearl’s business, the logistics superiority of the Dutch, in terms of physical infrastructure, business support and embedded experience, particularly in the Venlo region, is unmatched in Europe.