Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by smithguitars, Jul 10, 2019.
Don't put all yer eggs in one basket.
They really didn't do that.
They sold Fender, Martin, PRS, Reverend, Gretsch, Orange, Victory, numerous others. Their pedal selection was vast, and they had all the good sorts of accessories in the shop.
Partnering with Chapman helped raise their profile and Chapman's profile (in the US), but Riff City really was not betting it all on Chapman. Their retail stores had wall space devoted to Chapman but it was not a really big chunk of the space. Fender and Reverend always had more, for a start.
I heard their name in every TPS episode. Otherwise, no.
Some nice closeout deals on some strings and accessories.
I'm not sure that independent brick-'n'-mortar music stores are viable either: I used to have Ludlow Guitars, kinda sorta a hipster place but not too bad, very close by (before they moved to Front St and then shuttered permanently), and a Korean mom-'n'-pop kinda shop up on 2nd & 12th or so (and that's the kind of store in which I feel most comfortable, really).
Now, as far as I know, there's only that hipster shop on E4th: I went there once but having gotten there I was met by some political stuff taped to the door. So that's out. Now it's Guitar Center on 14th St - which I want to avoid, or Sam Ash on 34th & 9th. Unless I find a place owned by specific human beings (as opposed to anonymous shareholders), I guess that's where I'm gonna have to go.
Or... catalog shopping. Like living on the frontier in the Old West. What's old is new again.
But not happy about it.
I personally liked them a lot and I thought Joe was a stand-up guy. Met Chappers and some of the others at their big to-do in the location that was in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and their hours were a bit strange I felt. They had stuff I've never seen in Guitar Center like Kemper profiling amps, Victory amps, those velcro guitar mutes all the metal guys use just about every model of guitar you could imagine and quite a lot of cool effects. But it seemed like as they were ascendant my wallet was going flat - it was just a time I didn't have a lot of cash to spend on gear and I was hoping I'd eventually be able to buy something from them at some point.
The real bummer was a guitar shop in St. Paul which was Groove City guitars (no relation) - the owner had a serious illness (cancer) and the store closed before they could develop a huge following. That guy was amazing, he opened the store on a day they were normally closed so I could buy something (maybe my last big gear hurrah a few years back). I won't ever forget that guy.
I bought several pedals from them just to get the cookies
Oh, and the independent owners also have to fit your particular politics, because the family-owned Ludlows was deemed far too hipsterish for your tastes. Ever think you might just be impossible to please?
More from Joe:
Thank you all for the incredible outpouring and support when we announced our closing. Its been a very emotional week for all of us and it feels so good to read the letters and messages and listen to the voice mails! Our hearts are full. We are ever so grateful.
But let's not forget that there’s a bittersweet ending to any “going out of business” sale and that is…DEALS. There is still a lot of great gear at discounts up to 50% off. We hope you’ll take advantage of them this weekend. One note- we have not added these deals to our Reverb store yet, but have now, so if you have your eye on something- grab it before the deal price goes out to the masses!
Thank you so much, again, and again,
Joe & the Riff City Crew
1) That's my prerogative.
2) You've not quite understood my post. Read it again, carefully.
3) I consider being subjected to any store's politics to be an imposition.
You don't like Ludlows because they are too individualistic. You don't like corporate stores because they are corporate. You don't like catalog shipping because it is too Old West. I get it. You want guy just like you that owns a guitar store.
Or, you could just stop being an edge lord about everything.
Apparently you've decided to comment, not on what I posted, but on how you've decided to misinterpret it.
Went to the website...didn't see many "deals". Possibly everything sold already?
Watched them on Youtube. Seemed like cool peeps. Like what you'd want your local music store to be if there were any actually left, lol. Too bad.
So disappointing. This makes me want to cut back on major purchases through Reverb, drop GC entirely and spend more money at local indie guitar stores. I don't want to see my city's best shops go out of business this same way.
This is an interesting perspective and I agree. At first, it seems like Chapman went with GC because it helps them get more exposure but they just undercut their smaller supporters entirely and the smaller supporters will give them constant excellent publicity, while GC will never bother. So, in the long term, they've HURT themselves partnering with GC. I think Chapman thought too big, too soon. They could have helped build up Riff City while Riff City built up them and mutually benefitted from the others success. Be the biggest fish in a small (but growing) pond rather than nobodies in a bigger pond that doesn't care if you even survive.
I placed my last Riff City order. Got a fantastic price on a few accessories I needed (including Daddario Chromes, this will be my first time playing flats) and everything seems to be good. It's sad to see a good retailer go. Did anyone else get any good deals this weekend?
This. No matter how solid a business is, it doesn't take long for a true musician to take the whole thing for a solid southern detour...
They were really the only place around that sold Tone City that I know of, got a couple. Sad to see them go, they seemed like stand-up folks.
Why would Chapman pass up the opportunity to be sold by the biggest vendor in the market to stick with a store piggybacking on their marketing? They made the best business decision.
How is that “throwing them under the bus”?
I didn't say they shouldn't pass up such an opportunity. On the other hand, their bottom line is not my bottom line, and just as they can make such a decision, I can have my own opinion of that decision, based on any kind of reasons that appeal to me.
And I don't know if you've read this whole thread, but one comment opined as to how it would be better to be one of fewer number of guitar brands sold by Riff City but really pushed by them, than to be one of a far larger number of guitar brands sold by Guitar Center, and get very little actual attention from them. Got any thoughts about that?
Additionally, for me, as a consumer and end-user, I would like more retail competition, not less. Your thoughts...?
And, of course, it is far too early to know if this is the "best decision" that they could have made. It might, right now, look like it will turn out to be the best decision, but really, we are a long way from being able to actually call it that. Is it really impossible that they will sell fewer guitars via Guitar Center than they were selling via Riff City?
But is Riff City really closing up shop because Chapman is going elsewhere? This might not be the case. Riff City would have to be moving an awful lot of Chapman guitars for that to have been the only thing keeping them in business. Could they really not have pushed Fenders or Reverends or any one of number of brands just as successfully? If Chapman mounted any big ad campaigns, I haven't seen them.