GPO Retro have been providing a fresh and innovative addition to the market since 2009, whilst remaining focused on the aim of designing, developing and manufacturing high-quality consumer retro products. Their products are something you choose to add colour to your life; you want one because it’s nostalgic and you keep it because it’s fun and enjoyable. The original GPO telephones were produced by the General Post Office in the UK from mid-19th century right up to the late 20th century. Within that period, the GPO released a huge amount of memorable and sturdy phones designed for everyday use, which were eventually discontinued . GPO Retro are here to bring them back with an exciting new twist! They’re not aren’t only limited to stunningly individual telephones, they also manufacture a vast range of products, including retro inspired radios, turntables, record players and so much more!
I got the chance to speak to Gary Basso at GPO Retro to get the inside scoop on all things GPO Retro and what to expect from them in the upcoming year! My first question was surrounding the inspiration and ethos behind GPO Retro. Gary explained that quite simply the main inspiration behind the company was down to their love of nostalgic and retro products and the desire to want to bring the latest technology to people in the form of vintage style products. Their passion is also largely reflected by the fact that they’ve developed and expanded their product range into audio and hospitality. Gary went onto to say that GPO Retro’s main target market is currently split between hospitality and consumer retail. With this being the case, they want to take things that much further in 2022 and are looking to expand from the 40 countries that they currently trade in to those further afield by working with new retail and hospitality partners.
It’s clear to see that GPO Retro have a very individual set of products, but I wanted to know what Gary felt really set them above their competitors. He explained that this firstly comes down to their variety of products and how it ranges from a simple telephone to a Boombox or tape recorder. The investment that GPO Retro make into tooling for new products allows them to remain a step above their existing competitors and new competitors at all times. Products aside, they also have their own dedicated customer services team that take the utmost pride in the service and care that they provide and are on hand to take any questions or queries. If that wasn’t enough, Gary explained that they also have a website reseller portal that customers can use for troubleshooting, so in the unlikely event that there is ever an issue then GPO Retro will do everything they can to take the best care of their customer.
GPO Retro have had numerous triumphs since they began trading, so I asked Gary to share some of his personal proudest moments. Not only was he extremely proud when they introduced SIP/IP telephones into the hospitality market but he was also delighted with the introduction of the Brooklyn Boombox, which was been featured in numerous campaigns including Bosch and is one of their best sellers. GPO Retro’s telephones are undoubtedly one of their other front running, best selling products and as Gary said, this is largely down to the fact that they offer unique retro and vintage designs.
One of Gary’s favourite and most memorable projects that GPO Retro have worked on to date was their partnership with The Goodtime Hotel in Miami, of which Pharrell Williams is an investor. GPO Retro introduced the new and unique pink and green wallphones which are utterly iconic for this project. They make a fantastic addition to the vibrant styling of the rooms and are a brilliant example of how GPO Retro products add to the overall design of the space, whilst providing a necessary piece of technology. The Goodtime Hotel in Miami was a perfect example of this!
Taking it back to 2021 and the global pandemic, I asked Gary what some of the challenges GPO Retro faced were and how they adapted. He felt that they’d adapted well in a number of ways, which meant that they were able utilise the time to build and manage their stock levels. They have also made changes to their logistics process to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible for their customers. A challenge that I am sure a lot of other companies have also faced as a bi-product of the pandemic is a rise in transport and freight costs, plus an increase in factory materials. On a positive note, GPO Retro have experienced a large increase in their online ordering and sales over the past year.
Finally, looking ahead to 2022, one of GPO Retro’s main goals for this upcoming year is to increase their global presence and product range in the luxury hotel and hospitality industry. Following on from this, Gary let me know that there are a number of new and exciting products coming towards the end of the year. So keep your eyes pealed for their exciting launches!