Are the Death Bells Tolling for Guitar Center?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by steve_man, Dec 7, 2017 at 5:52 PM.


  1. steve_man

    steve_man Member

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    It has been pretty obvious over the past few years that Guitar Center is not doing as well as it used to financially. There have been rumors of vendors (Behringer, Bugera, Mackie, etc.) pulling their merchandise from Guitar Center due to nonpayment.

    However, this latest article points to some pretty deep issues with debt... Thoughts?

    https://www.retaildive.com/news/guitar-center-downgraded/512290/
     
  2. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 No disintegrations Silver Supporting Member

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    When Behringer calls you out for being cheap, it’s over
     
  3. Black_Label

    Black_Label Silver Supporting Member

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    They'll be fine. They might declare bankruptcy a few more times and be sold to different investment groups, they might even close stores. But they have the one most important things that no other music retailer has - a presence in every medium to large size community in America. Having customers will sort out all their other problems.

    They'll take their lumps but they'll be fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM
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  4. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    They just opened a new store in NW Houston. They opened a new store in central Houston ~1 year ago.

    This is surprising given how their business has been performing. Their management must truly believe that floor traffic is critical and that they have to be local.

    I still haven't been to our reasonably new Sam Ash.

    I like GC and would strongly prefer that they survive.
     
  5. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Supporting Member

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    They are over expanding to make sure they kill all the competition.
    They recently opened a 'smaller store' here at a mall just a few blocks away from a Sam Ash that has been there for a while (since Sam Ash put a local store out of business there...).
     
  6. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    Or, as the article said, guitars do not sell that much nowadays.
     
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  7. GreatGreen

    GreatGreen Member

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    They'll definitely downsize, if not close outright. There are only a few stores in the chain that make up for the huge losses incurred at all the other stores.

    I worked in a Guitar Center years ago and can tell you that there are rare but real GC's where there is a solid inventory and the salesfolks know their stuff and are useful, but by and large the chain has a reputation for the salespeople constantly pestering customers while not actually knowing anything at all about what they're selling, and all the guitars feel like they were setup by angry gorillas who hate anything but the highest possible action, used gear costing 90% of the new cost while being bought at 50% of the ebay rates, etc.

    It'll be a shame when they do close because unless you live in a big area like NYC, Atlanta, Nashville, LA, etc, quality guitar stores are extremely rare. Nobody else in my area carries even PRS or Gibson, or anything nicer or more exotic than that. Other than GC, it's beginner, "2nd guitar" quality guitars, or nothing around here. And there's definitely nowhere else I can go to audition studio monitors or PA speakers.
     
  8. steve_man

    steve_man Member

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    Agreed... although a lot of the smaller stores do no carry higher end stuff at all. Even before I moved out of Austin, only one of the stores there (if I remember correctly) had an "expensive guitars" room. Most of the locations I visit from time to time carry mostly lower-end gear, and a few USA Fenders and a few Gibsons. When it comes to amps, the selection is even slimmer.

    Sad, as I used to love to go there and try out the new gear. Would often buy from them, as well. They just don't have the gear selection they used to. Went in one in Lubbock, TX last week intending to buy an electric guitar, but they just didn't have anything that spoke to me. Lots of guitars on the wall, but all the same thing.
     
  9. tonegangster

    tonegangster Silver Supporting Member

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    Used to love going just to sample the goods but, now I just keep driving past. Unless I really need strings.
     
  10. Trea

    Trea Member

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    We have a Sam Ash? I had no idea.
     
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  11. Suave Eddie

    Suave Eddie Member

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    Ask your doctor if lobotomy is for you.
    How many tire kickers here go to GC to try out gear so that they can go home and order it online?
     
  12. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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  13. ken374

    ken374 Member

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    I met someone his friend owns one, I asked him about going out of business he hasn't heard anything from him saying anything bad about the business. They have plenty of sales there doing ok IMO I know it got really slow during 2009 or so
     
  14. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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  15. cjm254

    cjm254 Member

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    Every time I go into those Houston GCs there are always a bunch of customers...
     
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  16. dconeill

    dconeill Member

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    Perhaps the big box stores will fail, there will be a musical instrument drought (sp?) for awhile, and then small stores would open again. When I grew up there was a store in Erie, PA (not exactly a major market) called Markham's that carried Gibson but made most of its money from band instruments and lessons. They also fostered local live music. Perhaps it would be good for us to abandon the bigger-is-always-better model.
     
  17. Bartimaeus

    Bartimaeus Member

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    Well that isn't very punk, is it?
    The big "flagship" guitar centers that I've been to recently were shadows of their former selves, with almost half of the inventory that they used to sell.
     
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  18. dhdfoster

    dhdfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    They'll survive. Judging from the store her in San Francisco, they may need to change their name to Ukulele Center. "Guitar" isn't king anymore, but the millennials and hipsters seem pretty diverse in their musical tastes, and very into DIY recording and gigging, which is still good for GC.
     
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  19. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    Here in the bay area many smaller music stores that opened a couple of years' ago are closing. So this is sorry wishful thinking.
     
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  20. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    In my experience, there are usually people in the stores. I don't remember crowds.

    Again I hope they survive/succeed =).
     

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