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we've talked about this here over the years, and frankly, financial people were mystified at how GC was able to keep restructuring the debt load it's been carrying for 15 years or so... but it seems current conditions have made that harder to do...

NYTimes: Guitar Center is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing.

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Very sad news...if it were not for Covid, I'm sure GC could have stayed in business. The likely hood of Chp11 reorganization probably won't work for them in the current business climate. Unfortunately they will probably have to go Chp7. I hate to see one of only big box stores go under...maybe going mail order only might be an option? cry


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Originally Posted by Larryz
Very sad news...if it were not for Covid, I'm sure GC could have stayed in business. The likely hood of Chp11 reorganization probably won't work for them in the current business climate. Unfortunately they will probably have to go Chp7. I hate to see one of only big box stores go under...maybe going mail order only might be an option? cry

The roughest part for me is that I really like to try a guitar out before I play it. Most of the littler local stores don't carry anything but really cheap or busted up old instruments. Where can you go to play a shiny new PRS if you don't live near Andertons? =[


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Wow, I have been dealing with Musicians Friend since the early days of internet buying and of course in their retail outlets. My local Musicians Friend was in Cherry Hill NJ. back in the day (Late 60's through the mid to late 80's) Sad to see them go. Then I began to do biz with Guitar Center when it merged with MF.


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Hey, I wonder if losing the big box stores could force a restructuring in the pricing of the "prestige" brands? The big boxes stores made it possible for the companies to kick prices up, which put & pop stores out of business. If they go away, won't companies like Gretsch, Gibson, PRS, etc have to lower their prices and bring back mom & pop to stay afloat?


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Originally Posted by Music With Marky
Originally Posted by Larryz
Very sad news...if it were not for Covid, I'm sure GC could have stayed in business. The likely hood of Chp11 reorganization probably won't work for them in the current business climate. Unfortunately they will probably have to go Chp7. I hate to see one of only big box stores go under...maybe going mail order only might be an option? cry

The roughest part for me is that I really like to try a guitar out before I play it. Most of the littler local stores don't carry anything but really cheap or busted up old instruments. Where can you go to play a shiny new PRS if you don't live near Andertons? =[

@ Marky, I have a store that I grew up with since my early guitar days back in '65 that is still in business in San Jose, CA called Guitar Showcase. It's about 3 hours away. It was a major hang out for us budding guitar players back in my High School days. Another store called Skips I can get to much easier here in Sacramento, is about an hour away. Both of these stores are great and just as big as any GC size wise. They are local big boxes, and not nationwide like GC. Great places to try before you buy with a huge selection of well maintained guitars, keys, drums, pa's, etc. They will probably stay in business forever (I hope). My favorite store close by is in Folsom about 30 minutes away, called Nicholson's. They have a more limited stock mainly Fender and Gretsch in electrics and Martin and Fender acoustics. Along with some other high quality guitars. All set up before you buy and ready to try. I've taken my guitars there for many years when I have any tech/luthier needs. I feel blessed! +1 GC was a great in-store place to try out equipment. The mail order MF, Z Sounds, GC, SW and others like Wildwood, will probably continue on and carry a lot of the same stuff...for awhile at least... I pray... cool

Last edited by Larryz; 10/27/20 03:22 AM. Reason: sp.

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Like Larryz, I have an excellent locally owned store off yonder a bit.

Local stores in Bellingham made poor business decisions and it cost them. When GC arrived it killed them but they actually did it to themselves.

One of them moved to an expensive area, the cost of the lease gutted their profits and they couldn't hang on. Another one that had been in business for over 40 years tightened their return policy beyond all reason AND allowed their customer service to become insultingly poor. The owner retired and sold and some new folks bought in. I hope they can grow it into something nice.

Meanwhile, just 18 miles south on I-5 is Hugo Helmer's. They are local but they are far bigger and better stocked than the Bellingham Guitar Center. They have EVERYTHING in all price ranges, a great staff, good lessons, good tech work, it's a great place to try out gear and a great place to buy. Maybe a little more expensive than the interwebz stores but they will make sure you are happy and you can try before you buy.

Truly a dangerous place for me to bumble about in, last time I was there they had an 8 string tenor ukulele with 2 octave courses and I fell in love with it. About $600 out the door with a case and I couldn't afford it. I set it back in the rack and ran away!!!!! Yikess.....


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Originally Posted by Larryz
Originally Posted by Music With Marky
Originally Posted by Larryz
Very sad news...if it were not for Covid, I'm sure GC could have stayed in business. The likely hood of Chp11 reorganization probably won't work for them in the current business climate. Unfortunately they will probably have to go Chp7. I hate to see one of only big box stores go under...maybe going mail order only might be an option? cry

The roughest part for me is that I really like to try a guitar out before I play it. Most of the littler local stores don't carry anything but really cheap or busted up old instruments. Where can you go to play a shiny new PRS if you don't live near Andertons? =[

@ Marky, I have a store that I grew up with since my early guitar days back in '65 that is still in business in San Jose, CA called Guitar Showcase. It's about 3 hours away. It was a major hang out for us budding guitar players back in my High School days. Another store called Skips I can get to much easier here in Sacramento, is about an hour away. Both of these stores are great and just as big as any GC size wise. They are local big boxes, and not nationwide like GC. Great places to try before you buy with a huge selection of well maintained guitars, keys, drums, pa's, etc. They will probably stay in business forever (I hope). My favorite store close by is in Folsom about 30 minutes away, called Nicholson's. They have a more limited stock mainly Fender and Gretsch in electrics and Martin and Fender acoustics. Along with some other high quality guitars. All set up before you buy and ready to try. I've taken my guitars there for many years when I have any tech/luthier needs. I feel blessed! +1 GC was a great in-store place to try out equipment. The mail order MF, Z Sounds, GC, SW and others like Wildwood, will probably continue on and carry a lot of the same stuff...for awhile at least... I pray... cool

I remember Skip's! I lived in Orangevale for a time and used to pop in there quite frequently.


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I didn't realize Musician's Friend existed; always thought it was just another on-line "brand" for GC like Music123 back in the days before tax collection on the internet became almost universal. Several e-stores had a few variants that were registered in different states, so you'd pick the one that wasn't in your own state, to avoid taxes.


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Musician's Friend has what they call the Stupid Deal of the Day. So far, they have had really great prices on stuff that I either do not want or need, but eventually they will have something I want for a steal. For instance, they recently had 20 foot Ernie Ball guitar cables, normally $29.99 each, for that one day they were two for $29.99.


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Like a lot of you, I've been buying from Musician's Friend since the late 80's. Although I still do business with them from time to time, the majority of my shopping is with Sweetwater. I've never had an issue with Sweetwater... or even Musician's Friend that I can recall. Both are fantastic businesses with competitive prices. thu

Now, if only Musician's Friend would follow Sweetwater's lead and add candy with every shipped order... laugh


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Bit of local perspective . . .

A couple of years back, GC opened a small store in the shopping mall a few blocks from where I live. The entire store could fit inside the Guitar dept. of the next nearest GC, which is only around 7 miles away.

It's not a bad little store, and unlike a lot of GC's, the staff has been pretty stable the whole time it's been open, so I could go back to someone I know when I need something. Until . . .

The last thing I got there was my used Taylor, Friday, March 13th. Within a week or so, our Governor ordered all indoor malls to close their doors, which shuttered that store, even while other free-standing stores were still open. Not long after, pretty everything but grocery stores, pharmacies & gas stations shut down. Finally, even as our state started giving the green light for businesses to re-open, indoor malls were among the last.

So, what's my point? From a business standpoint, that one little GC has to have been a black hole, in terms of income vs. expense; it was closed for months, with the inventory all but held hostage, even while other nearby GC's remained open longer, and re-opened earlier. I would have thought that small GC in the mall would be among the first to go, if they were closing stores to cut back on expenses, but no, its still there, and still taking in new inventory, and used gear, besides . . .

The only thing I can see keeping GC afloat is a fear among their major suppliers of a nation-wide inventory sell-off that would undercut prices throughout the market. None of the big companies want to see their gear going for yard-sale prices, just so GC can divest and close up shop, and they're too heavily invested in GC's distribution network to detach.

The reverse of what Music With Marky says is true for the industry, as well: how is Gibson, or Marshall, or Roland, going to get their gear in front of players where there aren't any local Music stores, or where the locals don't have the capital to become authorized dealers for the major brands? (It's not cheap, nor easy to get a dealership from say, Fender or Gibson; there's a huge buy-in, which many small stores can't afford, and the likelihood that you'll be allowed to carry import models, but not U.S.-made ones, at first, with the possibility that you might, sometime, get to carry the higher-value products.) GC is their direct pipeline to the consumer; they'll find a way to make it work, or everyone involved is going to have to reassess their current business model.


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The death or major reorganization of a retailer like GC might just be the kind of big market shake-up that gets the smaller good brands the opportunity to grow their share of the American market.

Because there are a LOT of them out there worth looking at, believe me. I’m sitting at 29 guitars and a bass, and none of them was manufactured by a subsidiary of Gibson or Fender.

It might also be the catalyst for changing the way the big dogs structure their contracts, leading to more of the Mon & Pop shops of the world being able to sell their products in reasonable numbers.

Last edited by Dannyalcatraz; 10/29/20 05:32 PM.

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Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
The death or major reorganization of a retailer like GC might just be the kind of big market shake-up that gets the smaller good brands the opportunity to grow their share of the American market.

Because there are a LOT of them out there worth looking at, believe me. I’m sitting at 29 guitars and a bass, and none of them was manufactured by a subsidiary of Gibson or Fender.

It might also be the catalyst for changing the way the big dogs structure their contracts, leading to more of the Mon & Pop shops of the world being able to sell their products in reasonable numbers.

Having worked in Music retail, I've seen how the big companies can bully small stores; I also expect that the pandemic will kill off a lot of small stores that depend on in-house lessons for much of their monthly income.

We fought like hell to carry Fender, and never got any U.S.made Fender products; we were, however, forced to order a certain number of White Guitars, despite the fact that White Guitars just didn't sell for us, for some reason. We also had to take on a lot of stuff we didn't want or need, in order to keep the limited deanship agreement we had.

When we tried to get Gibson/Epiphone, having submitted reams of paperwork and credit applications, and (supposedly) having been approved, we waited for a shipment of Epi Guitars that somehow weren't shipping. After a number of calls to our sales rep, it became clear that even though we'd jumped through all the hoops, and had our credit line approved, we weren't going to see even one Epi unless we paid up front for our first shipment . . . which I believe was actually a violation of our sales agreement, because were we supposed to receive products as soon as our credit application was approved.

When the store finally closed, none of the big dogs offered any help nor any relief: no one offered to take back unused or unopened products except for the local Korg rep. As far as the rest were concerned, all the inventory was ours, past bills were still due, and GFL unloading all those products before your closing date.

I see the big companies going the way of car dealerships, instead. You'll have a Gibson store, that only sells Gibson, Epiphone, and other product lines controlled by the parent company, same thing with the Fender store, and so on. Maybe a few local, independent stores will hang on for a while, but if the industry goes to this model, it'll look to cut off supplies to independents, in order to keep profits close to home.


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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
The death or major reorganization of a retailer like GC might just be the kind of big market shake-up that gets the smaller good brands the opportunity to grow their share of the American market.

Because there are a LOT of them out there worth looking at, believe me. I’m sitting at 29 guitars and a bass, and none of them was manufactured by a subsidiary of Gibson or Fender.

It might also be the catalyst for changing the way the big dogs structure their contracts, leading to more of the Mon & Pop shops of the world being able to sell their products in reasonable numbers.

Having worked in Music retail, I've seen how the big companies can bully small stores; I also expect that the pandemic will kill off a lot of small stores that depend on in-house lessons for much of their monthly income.

We fought like hell to carry Fender, and never got any U.S.made Fender products; we were, however, forced to order a certain number of White Guitars, despite the fact that White Guitars just didn't sell for us, for some reason. We also had to take on a lot of stuff we didn't want or need, in order to keep the limited deanship agreement we had.

When we tried to get Gibson/Epiphone, having submitted reams of paperwork and credit applications, and (supposedly) having been approved, we waited for a shipment of Epi Guitars that somehow weren't shipping. After a number of calls to our sales rep, it became clear that even though we'd jumped through all the hoops, and had our credit line approved, we weren't going to see even one Epi unless we paid up front for our first shipment . . . which I believe was actually a violation of our sales agreement, because were we supposed to receive products as soon as our credit application was approved.

When the store finally closed, none of the big dogs offered any help nor any relief: no one offered to take back unused or unopened products except for the local Korg rep. As far as the rest were concerned, all the inventory was ours, past bills were still due, and GFL unloading all those products before your closing date.

I see the big companies going the way of car dealerships, instead. You'll have a Gibson store, that only sells Gibson, Epiphone, and other product lines controlled by the parent company, same thing with the Fender store, and so on. Maybe a few local, independent stores will hang on for a while, but if the industry goes to this model, it'll look to cut off supplies to independents, in order to keep profits close to home.

That is an interesting doomsday scenario Sir Winston. I can't say I disagree with it.

Prior to the fairly recent take-over at Gibson, they tried becoming a "one stop brand." They made terrible choices, hideous sunburst studio monitors and the tragically hideous Neat microphones (great mics but look like kid's toys).
I think it is more likely that companies like Gibson will be acquired by large, diverse entities like Harmon than that they will strike out on their own. A Gibson store might survive in large cities but outlying areas are a huge market and I don't see a Gibson store surviving here in Bellingham (90k+ people).

At this point I think there are too many music equipment manufacturers who are dependent on the GC chain to allow it to die. I don't know what is going to happen next, time will tell.
I've got pretty much everything I need and the few things I still want (great microphones!!!) are mostly made by smaller companies who will deal with me directly.


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One of the services provided by GC stores for Gibson guitars, is warranty work as an authorized dealer. There are a lot of strings attached (pun intended) for dealers that still carry the Gibson brand. Many mom and pops can't compete and have trouble getting paid for warranty work by Gibson. Not so much with Fender even though there are strings attached (pun intended) when carrying this brand as well. My mom and pop still carries Fender but no longer carries Gibson. They will still do warranty work on Fender but not on Gibson, as they had trouble getting reimbursed and too much paperwork and stopped selling Gibson. cool

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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
I see the big companies going the way of car dealerships, instead. You'll have a Gibson store, that only sells Gibson, Epiphone, and other product lines controlled by the parent company, same thing with the Fender store, and so on. Maybe a few local, independent stores will hang on for a while, but if the industry goes to this model, it'll look to cut off supplies to independents, in order to keep profits close to home.

This is what I've imagined too. The company stores will just be showrooms, though. When you decide you like the Jazzmaster you're holding, they'll put it back on the wall & you'll make your online purchase then & there. In the big cities it will be like an IKEA. They'll cart your purchase out of the warehouse attached to the showroom & load it into your car.


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@KuruPrionz - RE: Harmon - they were acquired by Samsung not long ago, and Samsung has been eliminating the MI departments, like Alesis, DOD/Digitech and Lexicon. Those were three industry mainstays for decades; you could not go into a home or semi-pro studio, or even many pro studios, without finding something made by one of those three. My entire FX rack is Lexicon, Digitech & Alesis gear, in that order.

Oh yes, I recall those ridiculous-looking monitors, with the Sunburst finish; WTH?

@Scott Fraser - My Irish mother had an expression about not buying a pig in a poke*: I won't buy a Guitar I haven't held in my hands, and I sure as hell won't take home an unopened box from a warehouse. I'm the type who will try several of the same model, to see which one sounds & feels best; there's no "one-model-fits-all", unlike with plywood or particleboard bookshelves.

*One of my landscaping clients is originally from Georgia, and she says her mother used the same expression.


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My local music store carries Fender, Gibson and most of the major brands. It maybe because we didn't have a GC until last year. I went to GC in Ca in 2018 when I visited my father and there is no comparison to the one in Pearl City. It seams like they adopted the local culture. It's their used gear that I like, I bought a Boss TU2 and an Ernie Ball MVP jr volume pedal from them.


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Originally Posted by surfergirl
My local music store carries Fender, Gibson and most of the major brands. It maybe because we didn't have a GC until last year. I went to GC in Ca in 2018 when I visited my father and there is no comparison to the one in Pearl City. It seams like they adopted the local culture. It's their used gear that I like, I bought a Boss TU2 and an Ernie Ball MVP jr volume pedal from them.

I'm with you, surfergirl! Used gear is ALWAYS my favorite thing about any music store - that's where the bargains are.
I haven't been inside our GC since Covid, not sure if you can even enter. Would be a nightmare keeping everything sanitized
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
@KuruPrionz - RE: Harmon - they were acquired by Samsung not long ago, and Samsung has been eliminating the MI departments, like Alesis, DOD/Digitech and Lexicon. Those were three industry mainstays for decades; you could not go into a home or semi-pro studio, or even many pro studios, without finding something made by one of those three. My entire FX rack is Lexicon, Digitech & Alesis gear, in that order.

Oh yes, I recall those ridiculous-looking monitors, with the Sunburst finish; WTH?

@Scott Fraser - My Irish mother had an expression about not buying a pig in a poke*: I won't buy a Guitar I haven't held in my hands, and I sure as hell won't take home an unopened box from a warehouse. I'm the type who will try several of the same model, to see which one sounds & feels best; there's no "one-model-fits-all", unlike with plywood or particleboard bookshelves.

*One of my landscaping clients is originally from Georgia, and she says her mother used the same expression.


I remember that now - the Harmon dismantling. It's part of how corporations work - my definition of a corporation is "a group of really smart people that equals one idiot."

Whatever morals the current owners of Gibson may or may not have, they will evaporate if a suitable offer is made. Personally, I see Gibson as a company that is trapped by their own legacy, the Les Paul cork sniffers won't buy anything but the closest possible replica to the guitar that was made in 1959 and that's that.

That's how PRS rose up, creating a new guitar with desirable and more modern features and a blend of two aesthetics, the classy woods and build of Gibson with some of the Fender vibe (whammy bar etc.).
Fender has evolved and innovated since their iconic guitars, so has Martin and Guild. Gibson seems to be stuck and the prices for a good one are just insane.
I paid $400 for my lightly used ES-335 Studio model back in 1986 and you can barely get a used Epiphone 335 for that kind of money now. So it goes...


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Originally Posted by picker
Hey, I wonder if losing the big box stores could force a restructuring in the pricing of the "prestige" brands? The big boxes stores made it possible for the companies to kick prices up, which put & pop stores out of business. If they go away, won't companies like Gretsch, Gibson, PRS, etc have to lower their prices and bring back mom & pop to stay afloat?

They've all started to shift to direct website sales, themselves (Fender, and their brands like Gretch, Guild, etc.). There are other big box online music retailers... GC's problem was brick and mortar stores everywhere... well, their bigger problem was that Bain Capital (Romney's firm) bought them and pulled their usual crap that saddled them with tons of debt that was never going to be able to be paid off.

But GC/MF has not made prestige brands more expensive, they've actually made them less expensive... pricing is reduced by volume. That company ordered big amounts of guitars from Gibson and PRS, Gibson has always been a large assembly line operation, PRS had to expand and take on more builders to supply the chain which raises operating costs but increases production... and those big wholesale orders fill the guitar companies coffers. I know for a while Gibson started dumping the smaller dealers because they had to concentrate so much on the GC/MF orders, and when GC/MF has a slowdown and skipped a year or something it caused quite a problem.

The reason "Prestige" brand guitars have gotten so expensive is that it costs a lot to employ Americans in America who know how to do the work (even if that's just running CNC machine), because everything else in America (cars, housing, etc) has gotten more expensive.

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Personally, I see Gibson as a company that is trapped by their own legacy, the Les Paul cork sniffers won't buy anything but the closest possible replica to the guitar that was made in 1959 and that's that.

...but only if it says “Gibson” on the headstock.

Look at the stuff put out by Tokai, Navigator, Edwards, FGN and others- you’ll find guitars that will give you every tone you want from a Les Paul. For a fraction of the price.

Hell, HERITAGE guitars are made in Kalamazoo in the old Gibson factory on old Gibson machines by former Gibson employees. It doesn’t get more authentic than that, but the corksniffers still look down on them.


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Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
Quote
Personally, I see Gibson as a company that is trapped by their own legacy, the Les Paul cork sniffers won't buy anything but the closest possible replica to the guitar that was made in 1959 and that's that.

...but only if it says “Gibson” on the headstock.

Look at the stuff put out by Tokai, Navigator, Edwards, FGN and others- you’ll find guitars that will give you every tone you want from a Les Paul. For a fraction of the price.

Hell, HERITAGE guitars are made in Kalamazoo in the old Gibson factory on old Gibson machines by former Gibson employees. It doesn’t get more authentic than that, but the corksniffers still look down on them.

Yep.
Somewhere on the Les Paul forum there is a thread praising the wonders of "nibs", that useless bit of plastic that covered the fret ends on bound Gibson fretboards. A feature of efficiency, it renders almost 1/8th" strip of precious fretboard real estate unusable. Martin showed the way, their bound boards had frets that overlapped the binding and went to the edge of the fretboard. The work to do that costs more, out it goes.

My favorite Les Pauls have always been the Studio models with no fingerboard binding, the best one I had was from 2008 and had the chambered body too - nice and light. I've owned 2 white Customs, 5 Studios, a Special, a Jr and a favorite 2014 Melody Maker that used the same body as that year's Les Paul Custom light. All gone, just gonna keep my 335 Studio and call it good.


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Steering somewhat back on track . . . one possibility I see is the big companies acquiring some of the shuttered GC locations as their own distribution centers, if there's a big shake-up, or even a collapse. It could be part of any final settlement, that along with acquiring the remaining inventory, the manufacturers and distributors would take over some of the leases on the more profitable locations. It would still mean closing down some, if not all, of the lower-performing stores, but it would keep bricks-&-mortar Music Instrument stores in some areas where there's been no other option than GC, as well.

Those commercial spaces are already set up for storing and displaying Musical Instruments, and local players are already used to going to those locations for their gear. One smart thing GC did in the D.C. area was to acquire the space previously occupied by Veneman Music when Veneman's closed. GC bought out the existing stock, and got to move into a building already set up for Music sales, with an existing customer base. They've since moved to another, larger location, but having a good initial landing zone made for an easier entrance into the D.C. market.

Outfitting an empty space for Music retail is costly and time-consuming, particularly when you think of things like setting up a climate-controlled Acoustic room, which most GC locations already have. Demolishing the interiors of existing stores just to re-locate is more than wasteful, it also risks moving further away from an already established customer base. Re-purposing existing GC locations seems to make the most sense for the industry, if GC can't get enough industry support to stagger on. Having said that, I realize that good sense doesn't always seem to apply in the Music industry . . .


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I went to my closest GC just yesterday. I HAD to- it looked closed. Their window display was not just empty, it was devoid of anything that made the store look occupied.

It’s still there, though, and operating. They’ve reorganized and renovated somewhat, so that might explain the uninviting window displays- aka, the lack thereof.

No real surprises, though. Mostly big name brands we all know, although I was surprised to see as many Mitchells as I did. Disappointingly, there was only one acoustic 12-string in the store (a Takamine). There was a limited edition Gretsch with a HB/P90 configuration that looked nice, as well as a Duesenberg hanging a few feet away...HIGH on the wall. Similarly, amp offerings had narrowed a bit, but refreshingly, they’re now carrying some Supros.

I have NO idea where they’re hiding the pedals at the moment. All I saw were the ones in the used display case.

The big change was a smaller, displaced checkout area, replaced in its original spot by a suite of small practice rooms, apparently for hosting teaching sessions. A good idea in general, but I’m not sure the current environment will turn that into a winning strategy.


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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Steering somewhat back on track . . . one possibility I see is the big companies acquiring some of the shuttered GC locations as their own distribution centers, if there's a big shake-up, or even a collapse. It could be part of any final settlement, that along with acquiring the remaining inventory, the manufacturers and distributors would take over some of the leases on the more profitable locations. It would still mean closing down some, if not all, of the lower-performing stores, but it would keep bricks-&-mortar Music Instrument stores in some areas where there's been no other option than GC, as well.

Those commercial spaces are already set up for storing and displaying Musical Instruments, and local players are already used to going to those locations for their gear. One smart thing GC did in the D.C. area was to acquire the space previously occupied by Veneman Music when Veneman's closed. GC bought out the existing stock, and got to move into a building already set up for Music sales, with an existing customer base. They've since moved to another, larger location, but having a good initial landing zone made for an easier entrance into the D.C. market.

Outfitting an empty space for Music retail is costly and time-consuming, particularly when you think of things like setting up a climate-controlled Acoustic room, which most GC locations already have. Demolishing the interiors of existing stores just to re-locate is more than wasteful, it also risks moving further away from an already established customer base. Re-purposing existing GC locations seems to make the most sense for the industry, if GC can't get enough industry support to stagger on. Having said that, I realize that good sense doesn't always seem to apply in the Music industry . . .


While this makes sense (and is therefore probably "wrong" in corporate world), who is diverse enough in terms of products and or relationships with other companies to be able to provide a complete music store without including their own competition in the inventory?

Yamaha comes to mind, maybe Fender? Gibson dropped all their non-guitar side gigs during the last collapse. You could put a Gibson store 50 feet from my home and I might visit it once just to check it out. If they had good prices on strings and a good selection I might buy those there.


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Yamaha could definitely pull it off, if they think it makes sense to try.

A group of second-tier companies could form a co-op and do likewise.


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@ Kuru, My LP Classic, Epi ES-175 and my Conti all have bound fret boards and I like them as they are very comfortable and smooth. The frets on all three are above the binding and extend all the way to the edge and they don't bite. I don't see Gibson or Fender opening their own brick and mortar store unless they have no mail order activity...Maybe do factory tours and sell from a show room?

@ Danny, I must not be in the "corksniffer" 59 LP crowd, as Heritage garners a lot of respect from all the reviews I have read in the jazz world. I almost scored on one and kick myself in the ass for missing out LOL!

@ P90, +1 I have heard that Gibson and Fender are considering selling guitars direct from their websites. Not sure if they have started doing it yet? They may hold off as long as SW MF GC, etc. mail order sites are moving their products along with the bigger mom and pops that are still selling their products, to keep from hurting their business...

@ Winston, I think a good use for a shuttered GC store would be a used and/or a consignment guitar store, or maybe add in the pawn shop concept. If it did enough business, it might attract some of the big guns. The shuttered stores might be too big of a piece of real estate for this type of business though.


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Last edited by Larryz; 11/01/20 04:03 PM. Reason: sp.

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Some bright individual might be able to make such spaces into a “safe zone” market for doing transactions between private sellers who made deals over the phone or Internet. IOW, via sale ads in the local press, Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.

We have them at some of our local police stations, but they’re small, exposed and...well...at local police stations. Personally, my relationship with the police is about as good it could be, all things considered, but not everyone can say the same. (Just sayin’.)

And my previous suggestion of a co-op idea could work for the local gear makers, too. It wouldn’t work everywhere, but I live in a major metropolitan area- the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. I was surprised when I started digging around how many guitar makers and pedal builders there are around here. Some of them are making some truly killer stuff.

But a lot of them are literally working out of a garage or shed in their backyards. Not a lot of foot traffic. And who jp knows how much business their websites are generating? I mean, it may still be enough to make them happy, but few of the builders I know (here or elsewhere) are doing so as their sole or even primary source of income.


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