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#2577579 - 03/04/14 04:03 PM The end of Guitar Center?
Bucktunes Offline
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Interesting article

Not sure if this is ironic or if it's an example of karma coming full circle... smirk
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#2577590 - 03/04/14 04:44 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Bucktunes]
Kawai James Offline
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GC also owns Musician's Friend, correct?

James
x
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#2577593 - 03/04/14 04:49 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Kawai James]
Josh Paxton Offline
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If that happens, I will mourn with the same sadness as I did at the loss of Blockbuster Video.
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#2577594 - 03/04/14 04:53 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Bucktunes]
davedoerfler Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bucktunes

Not sure if this is ironic or if it's an example of karma coming full circle... smirk


not sure if I believe if it is either but it is big news indeed. I remember when the MARS chain went under.
Kawai James - yes, Guitar Center Corporation owns Musicians Friend.
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#2577596 - 03/04/14 04:56 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Kawai James]
CEB Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kawai James
GC also owns Musician's Friend, correct?

James
x


Yes and also. 123 Music, Brasswinds & Woodwinds and probably some other virtual storefronts.
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#2577601 - 03/04/14 05:01 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: CEB]
Kawai James Offline
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Ouch.
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#2577605 - 03/04/14 05:09 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Kawai James]
wmp Offline
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Good riddance.
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#2577606 - 03/04/14 05:12 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Bucktunes]
aellison62 Offline
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Loc: Ohio
I heard they were in financial trouble for a while.

I hated when Blockbuster closed also!!

In my area that would leave only SamAsh music as a large full service music store.
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#2577610 - 03/04/14 05:19 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: wmp]
Dana. Offline
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Originally Posted By: wmp
Good riddance.

+1

I'm sure Sweetwater, Sam Ash, Kraft Music et al. will be glad to pick up the business.

And how would this hurt or put out of business smaller manufacturers, especially considering what's on the floor at GC? It's not like GC is the only place to buy DSI...

Never heard of this Bobby Owsinski guy...

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#2577612 - 03/04/14 05:20 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: wmp]
Dreamchilde Offline
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Originally Posted By: wmp
Good riddance.


This.
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#2577613 - 03/04/14 05:21 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: aellison62]
Dana. Offline
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Originally Posted By: aellison62
I hated when Blockbuster closed also!!

I think FKS was being sarcastic.

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#2577619 - 03/04/14 05:37 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Dana.]
ITGITC? Offline
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Also filed under the "WHO CARES?" category, Radio Shack is closing 1,100 stores, 20% of its locations.

Boo-freaquin'-Hoo! cry

I'm surprised they stayed in business this long.

Good riddance to these guys too!
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#2577624 - 03/04/14 05:46 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: ITGITC?]
WillNeverPost Offline
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Registered: 06/06/13
Posts: 723
I didn't know Bain Capital owned them. That's a death sentence right there for most companies that have had that pleasure.

I would guess this also puts the continued existence of Harmony Central at risk. Not that the site was exactly healthy after GC took it over.

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#2577631 - 03/04/14 06:03 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: ITGITC?]
Randelph Offline
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Registered: 06/30/09
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Loc: San Francisco, CA
I suppose this comes from a lot of poor service and frustrating transactions, but it's not my reaction, by far.

GC has been a big plus for me.
? Where else can I go and try out, literally, 90-100 keyboards, most set up with speakers?
? Where else can I go, try out a product, and return it within 30 days, with no return shipping hassle and expense?
? Where else can I go locally and get price matching, including CA tax?

Granted, many of the sales people are not that knowledgeable, and nobody likes a commissioned sales person, but these arguments sound a lot like a friend who used to complain about Home Depot because not many of the people were not that knowledgeable- in the case of the Home Depot, the reason to shop there is a huge inventory conveniently located at much better than small store prices. If you're building a shelf, the local hardware store is perfect, if you're remodeling your house, you're going to want a Home Depot or equivalent.

And when it comes to local inventory, bigger is better. I'm all for local mom and pop stores, it certainly brings access to instruments in a local shopping way, but you need a big box store, to have any kind of decent inventory. Most mom and pop stores have 20-30 keyboards, max, to try out, and their return policies are typically not as generous. And there's very few equivalents of Sam Ash and Sweetwater in other parts of the country.

Like it or not, the music business is a fairly small industry, we live in a global economy, and most of us are musicians with limited means. For myself, being that I kick the tires at GC, I make a serious effort to give them the business when possible (when it's not to my detriment). I sincerely hope they are not liquidated.
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#2577637 - 03/04/14 06:32 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Randelph]
Doc Tonewheel Offline
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I've bought from 8th Street Music since 1985 and have been very happy. I've also used other places like Retrolinear, and have gotten great deals.
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#2577638 - 03/04/14 06:40 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Doc Tonewheel]
Tom Williams Offline
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GC's Used Gear has been very good for me on an amateur budget. In the past year or so they've provided a good 50% of the stuff I currently play on. And without their competition, what direction do you think Sam Ash's prices will go?
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#2577639 - 03/04/14 06:49 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Tom Williams]
piano39 Offline
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Loc: Ohio
I don't understand the schadenfreude about Guitar Center's bad news. If they get a cold, the entire music industry will get a fever.

This would hurt manufacturer's and consumers.

Despite their shortcomings, GCs are great places to try out a lot of instruments, and buy it at a competitive price. In my case, if GC closes, I will have to buy things off the internet, without even having a chance to audition it first.

I also do not understand the romanticism about the mom and pops. My memory of most of them were 1)Good service, 2) high prices 3) very little variety
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#2577640 - 03/04/14 06:55 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Tom Williams]
SteveCoscia Offline
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Loc: Philadelphia, PA USA
Our son works at Music & Arts (GC subsidiary), a retail music chain that also rents school band instruments. He'll give me updates as the days pass.

I think that some brick and mortar stores (i.e. Best Buy) will likely downsize this year. Tough to compete with the internet.
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#2577641 - 03/04/14 06:56 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Tom Williams]
burningbusch Offline
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Bain took GC private in 2007, right around the peak of the stock market, so the timing couldn't have been worse, i.e. they paid top dollar then the recession hit. GC had about $200 million in debt which Bain acquired but this deal was leveraged to the hilt anyway (I think the total debt was ~$1bil). From Wiki: "In May of 2013, Standard & Poor's cut its debt rating on Bain Capital-owned Guitar Center Holdings Inc to "junk bond" status, citing struggles with "weak operating trends." The corporate credit rating on the company dropped from 'B-' to 'CCC+'"

Ares holds most of this debt and this isn't some 30 year mortgage, the debt is paid down in large chucks (tranches) over a relatively short time. Even if this debt could be refinanced it would cost them a premium due to the high risk of default, junk bond rating.
Doesn't seem like it will end well.

Busch.

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#2577644 - 03/04/14 07:01 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Dana.]
Josh Paxton Offline
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Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: aellison62
I hated when Blockbuster closed also!!

I think FKS was being sarcastic.


D-Bon for the win! My more-than-moderate distaste for GC doesn't compare to the deep loathing I felt for Blockbuster...
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#2577646 - 03/04/14 07:17 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Randelph]
Michael W Offline
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Posts: 641
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Randelph

GC has been a big plus for me.
? Where else can I go and try out, literally, 90-100 keyboards, most set up with speakers?
? Where else can I go, try out a product, and return it within 30 days, with no return shipping hassle and expense?


Although it is popular to badmouth Guitar Center (and for many good reasons), I would not cheer their demise, especially for the reasons quoted above.

I also have a HUGE Sam Ash store nearby, but they don't seem to care about keyboards. Last year they took the keyboard department and turned it into private rooms where they give instrument lessons. The keyboards were moved into one end of the recording section - there isn't a real "keyboard department" any more. The keyboards spill out into the hallway along with the patch cables and headphones. Meanwhile, the guitar and drum departments could each hold 1,000 synthesizers, easily. I guess that's where the money is.

But I hope GC sticks around. Although the keyboard dept in the nearby store is relatively small, at least they have one. And I do buy from them on occasion. They're convenient.
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#2577653 - 03/04/14 07:52 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Michael W]
Sundown Offline
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It's not impossible for them to go under, but I wouldn't count on it. Capital firms are in it to make money, and a liquidation doesn't yield much (at least I can't see it yielding much in this case). I could see some stores closing and some changes to their business, but an outright liquidation seems unlikely.

I didn't know they owned Musicians Friend. If the internet is the reason that they aren't selling gear, it's their own right hand doing it to them. Sweetwater isn't generally cheaper than GC or Musicians Friend, and I'm not sure how big some of the others are in comparison (e.g. Sam Ash, etc).

GC is the only retailer left in my area that carries any pro gear. The little guys got knocked out when GC and Mars came to town (and Mars didn't last long). I was at GC this past Saturday after a long hiatus, and they really didn't have much (outside of a Kronos X and a Motif XF8). I was hoping they would have a Prophet 12 and a CP4, but no such luck. They had plenty of USB controllers, mini analog synths (Novation, Arturia, etc.), and plenty of mid-range Krome/MoxF boards, but nothing in the stratosphere.

Rest assured if they do go under, the industry will emerge again and soldier on. Maybe it would be Mom and Pop shops again, or maybe another big box store will emerge.
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#2577661 - 03/04/14 08:20 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Sundown]
ProfD Offline
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I wouldn't be surprised if GC downsizes or goes the way of Mars Music.

Thankfully, the DC area still has Washington Music Center aka Chuck Levin's. thu cool
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#2577664 - 03/04/14 08:33 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: ProfD]
mate stubb Offline
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I can't remember the last time my local GC had any keyboards I was interested in trying.
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#2577678 - 03/04/14 09:49 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: mate stubb]
The Real MC Offline
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Originally Posted By: mate_stubb
I can't remember the last time my local GC had any keyboards I was interested in trying.


^ THIS

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#2577682 - 03/04/14 10:27 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: The Real MC]
Jr. Deluxe Offline
Has been warned....
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Maybe they should hire the least knowledgeable, most inexperienced sales staff they can find and pay them min wage. OR maybe they should do the opposite .

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#2577683 - 03/04/14 10:31 PM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: The Real MC]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Guitar Center hurt Ma Pa, yes, but with Ma Pa gone, and G C possibly going the way of Hollywood Video and Blockbuster... how is this a good thing?
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#2577687 - 03/05/14 12:12 AM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
Joe Muscara Offline
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What's interesting is that GC has a bunch of new stores around here, several of them are "Studios" where they do lessons and actually have nice hourly rental rooms for bands with back line drums and amps, and even some keyboards available.
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#2577691 - 03/05/14 12:42 AM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: Joe Muscara]
Losendoskeys Offline
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I got a free Solidstand from GC when I advised them it had arrived bent - shipped from the US - thats $500 of excellent customer service in my eyes (and pocket!).
(It only cost me 30 to fix)

So if they go it's a shame for me.
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#2577692 - 03/05/14 01:27 AM Re: The end of Guitar Center? [Re: mate stubb]
ksoper Online   content
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Originally Posted By: mate_stubb
I can't remember the last time my local GC had any keyboards I was interested in trying.


Last time I was at the Nashville GC I played a Sub Phatty, a Jupiter 80, Kronos 88, and a PX-5S. I'm not there all the time but I'd miss it if it were gone. The salesmen are cool enough to leave me alone, and available and reasonably knowledgeable if I have a question.

In a conversation I had with Moog's Mike Adams, he spoke about the amount of product they sell to GC. It's not insignificant. I'd hate to see the boutique synth folks have to scale back right when there's an analog resurgence.

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