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Guitar Center circles the drain Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 8th March 2014
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
Yeah, as I recall they did it as a sort of experiment, and only did it in certain stores. The experiment did not go well.
Well no wonder it didn't go well.

They hired, as someone else has stated, very hungry young men who would swoop down on you as soon as you entered that part of the store and start asking all types of question about what kind of music you listened to and what instruments you played. When I would tell them that I was a mastering engineer and played classical piano they would just walk away. They also could not demo a lot of the equipment that they had because it was not hooked up. The stuff they had looked like the same stuff you see at GC. Low end garbage that had a high profit margin. As you can probably tell I was not impressed.
Old 15th March 2014
  #32
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This is all unjudgable, I suppose. Guitar Center has all those stores and you don't, so they must be doing something right. An argument could be made that they don't have to care about professional customers. Professionals are probably a tiny fraction of their traffic. And, the parameters of employing affordable retail staff probably work against employing expensive long-term professionals.

I would have to say that they're probably about right for the role that they play, which is to have big facilities in towns that don't have a House of Guitars and a Sound Source. If you live in Dogpatch, a Wendy's burger is probably the best burger you'll ever have an opportunity to encounter. It's a net gain for the community.

But if they're listening to this: When I call to see whether you have something, don't just ask the computer, go look. The computer might be wrong. And straighten out that irritable chick.
Old 15th March 2014
  #33
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This is all unjudgable, I suppose. Guitar Center has all those stores and you don't, so they must be doing something right. An argument could be made that they don't have to care about professional customers. Professionals are probably a tiny fraction of their traffic. And, the parameters of employing affordable retail staff probably work against employing expensive long-term professionals.

I would have to say that they're probably about right for the role that they play, which is to have big facilities in towns that don't have a House of Guitars and a Sound Source. If you live in Dogpatch, a Wendy's burger is probably the best burger you'll ever have an opportunity to encounter. It's a net gain for the community.

But if they're listening to this: When I call to see whether you have something, don't just ask the computer, go look. The computer might be wrong. And straighten out that irritable chick.
Old 15th March 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
If they do end up shuttering it, Fender is in super-mega-big trouble...
Not so coincidentally, the current head of Fender is none other than Larry Thomas, Former CEO of Guitar Center.

Quote:
Mr. Larry E. Thomas has been Chief Executive Officer of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation since August 1, 2010. Mr. Thomas served as Chief Executive Officer of Guitar Center Music Education Foundation. He served as Co-Chief Executive Officer at Guitar Center, Inc. from 1999 to October 2004 and as its Chief Executive Officer and President since 1991. Mr. Thomas was with Guitar Center, Inc. since 1977 as salesperson in the San Francisco, California store. He served as Store's manager at Guitar Center. He served as San Francisco Area Regional Manager since 1980 and also served as its Corporate General Manager and Chief Operating Officer since 1984 at Guitar Center.
Old 15th March 2014
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorblade View Post
Not so coincidentally, the current head of Fender is none other than Larry Thomas, Former CEO of Guitar Center.
I've heard over 15% of Fender's volume worldwide is done via GC...
Old 17th March 2014
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
I've heard over 15% of Fender's volume worldwide is done via GC...
15% is a significant number, but that represents US sales. Those sales will still materialize, albeit through different channels. Other channels such as Sam Ash and Best Buy will step up to the plate and perhaps more independent stores will emerge stronger from this, should GC fail.

Empires rise and fall, such we have learned from history.

The biggest concern for FMC right now should be the level of receivables they have to carry with GC and how that will affect their corporate viability should that ledger item require a write-down or a write-off.
Old 17th March 2014
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
15% is a significant number, but that represents US sales. Those sales will still materialize, albeit through different channels. Other channels such as Sam Ash and Best Buy will step up to the plate and perhaps more independent stores will emerge stronger from this, should GC fail.

Empires rise and fall, such we have learned from history.

The biggest concern for FMC right now should be the level of receivables they have to carry with GC and how that will affect their corporate viability should that ledger item require a write-down or a write-off.
Agree with that, but I think that the 15% may not absolutely shift over to somewhere else. Disappearing visibility (and that much of it) might mean consumers are just as likely to buy another brand - it may form a gap that other makers can encroach somewhat. Fender may find they have to increase their marketing budget significantly to compensate for the disappearance of all those shopfronts, should it come to that... which of course, it may not.
Old 17th March 2014
  #38
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I heard Mesa Boogie is also pulling all products from Guitar Center distribution as well.
Old 17th March 2014
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Agree with that, but I think that the 15% may not absolutely shift over to somewhere else. Disappearing visibility (and that much of it) might mean consumers are just as likely to buy another brand - it may form a gap that other makers can encroach somewhat. Fender may find they have to increase their marketing budget significantly to compensate for the disappearance of all those shopfronts, should it come to that... which of course, it may not.
If Fender has to increase their marketing budget, the smaller companies are going to have to quadruple theirs. Brands like Dean, Schecter, B.C. Rich, etc.

I'm left handed though, so I'm used to buying guitars online.
Old 17th March 2014
  #40
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The entire retail sector is getting hammered. It's not just GC.
Old 17th March 2014
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Agree with that, but I think that the 15% may not absolutely shift over to somewhere else. Disappearing visibility (and that much of it) might mean consumers are just as likely to buy another brand - it may form a gap that other makers can encroach somewhat. Fender may find they have to increase their marketing budget significantly to compensate for the disappearance of all those shopfronts, should it come to that... which of course, it may not.
I would think if anything, Fender would have it easier than most. It's probably the most recognizable name and people will find another way to get it. I think if Guitar Center went under, the small brands which are sometimes the diamond in the ruff are going to be the ones who suffer. It doesn't matter if it's guitars, mics, speakers, or any other product that is at least somewhat to taste. It's much easier to try what is known, than to risk an unknown.
Old 17th March 2014
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
I would think if anything, Fender would have it easier than most. It's probably the most recognizable name and people will find another way to get it. I think if Guitar Center went under, the small brands which are sometimes the diamond in the ruff are going to be the ones who suffer. It doesn't matter if it's guitars, mics, speakers, or any other product that is at least somewhat to taste. It's much easier to try what is known, than to risk an unknown.
Possibly! I guess I just wonder how much of that diamond-in-the-rough stuff actually gets sold through GC. In the pro audio spectrum maybe more than the MI arena, if GC gets sold, you might get more boutique-y gear going to new homes when someone has to ring up the Vintage Kings and KMR Audios of the world looking for something and getting told about something better.
Old 18th March 2014
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
The entire retail sector is getting hammered. It's not just GC.
I agree.

I walked into my local Best Buys. Lots of empty space where there use to be product. I know the person who in charge of customer service. I asked him what was going on. He said that they had cut way back on some equipment in the store and were only stocking the really fast sellers and if someone wanted something else they would suggest they buy it and have it shipped to the store or their house from their warehouse. He also said that they were not stocking as much in certain areas (like computer monitors) because a lot of people came into the store, saw what they wanted and bought it from Amazon.

I was also in my local Staples store and I was one of only two customers in the store. One of the tech geeks has always been very nice to work with and he told me that Staples was going to close over 1000 stores and he was not sure if this one would be closed.

Our local Office Max looks like the aftermath of a big sale. Lots of holes in the shelves were product belongs and a lot of the display equipment, like printers, no longer work. The store looks run down and dingy and there are a lot of bulbs that need to be replaced in the ceiling lights. Not very attractive for a would be customer. I wonder how long it will be until they go out of business???

Amazon seems to be the place most people in retail say is hurting them the most. They also say that wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam's Club are taking a lot of their customers because they sell everything from soup to nuts as well as large ticket items.

Maybe we will become a nation of online shoppers...we are almost there already.

I have been told that Amazon.com and other online merchants PAY places like Best Buy to display merchandise so that people can see what it looks like and then order it off line. Best Buy does not stock the particular models so you cannot order them from them.

Pretty soon we will have stores where you can look and touch but not buy...won't that be weird???
Old 18th March 2014
  #44
Remember the Wall-E movie? One giant corporate mega-store running America? 'Buy In Large'. Is that where we're headed?
Old 21st March 2014
  #45
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More proof the economy is NOT doing well despite great "reports" on Wall Street and other markets.
Too many people living week to week with little disposable income left after living costs.
Businesses have to adjust. Companies like Moog, Gibson, and other high priced vendors are in grave trouble and have had to put out more affordable product lines. Question is how will the quality hold up?
Some examples:
- I looked at a Gibson LP Studio and the frets were sticking out of the side of the fingerboards not flush with the edge. Very uncomfortable to play. Reports of electronics problems. Apparently, binding and finishing are labor intensive as there is neither on this model.
- Arturia managed to release the all analog Minibrute with metal casing, nice sliders and pots with nice resistance for only $499. It has been great to me save for a few bugs that had simple fixes.
Lot of guys I know are buying Epiphone LP's and putting in better electronics and still saving over $1000 vs the Gibson version.
Its not always the store selling, but a times the actual vendors manufacturing.
Thing is: don't buy especially guitars sight unseen and played, its a crap shoot anymore.
Old 21st March 2014
  #46
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I do all my Gear Shopping online.

I go to GC simply to be around music equipment when I'm in the area & have nothing better to be doing--much like girls window shopping in clothing stores even when they don't plan on buying anything. Their prices are high compared to online prices, and who buys boxed software anyway. Just go home & download it. Plus over the years GC has turned more & more like a pawn shop feel than a "real" pro store. Feels like I'm walking around a garage sale & boxes of peoples old junk.

I like GC "in theory & spirit" and don't want to see it go, but if half the people going there are like me, I can see why its happening.
Old 21st March 2014
  #47
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I prefer to buy things in brick and mortar stores when I can. I for one will miss them if they go.

Problem is 7 out of 10 times they don't have what you want and need to order it for you because they only carry the cheap stuff that you don't want. I don't think the guys I've run into are any better or any worse than average Joe whatever anywhere else. Though I will never forget the little ****** bag that came in and turned a pair of Adam A7s up as loud as they would go while telling some young kid to listen how flat they are 100 SPL :( .

Hope it works out, I still go there and now and again I find what I came for, but unless its really basic stuff I usually walk out empty handed because if they need to order it, I can order it myself and save myself the drive back to pick it up.
Old 9th April 2014
  #48
Old 9th April 2014
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRacer View Post
Ares?
Old 10th April 2014
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
This is all unjudgable, I suppose. Guitar Center has all those stores and you don't, so they must be doing something right.
Then again, they are being bought out by Bain Capital and I am not, so they must be doing something wrong. I went in one over the weekend to see if I could play with the new Roland Aira boxes. When I got there, no Aira, no Korg Volcas, nothing plugged in and playable but a Microkorg, a busted Microbrute, and some hideously overpriced Yamahas. That's probably the last time I go there unless I am desperate for guitar strings.
Old 11th April 2014
  #51
RTR
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My biggest problem with GC now days is that they never have what you need..BUT>>>>They can order it. Ya so can I.
Old 14th April 2014
  #52
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^ That.
Old 4th February 2015
  #53
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Guitar Center's Final Days in sight???
<End of Guitar Center>
Old 4th February 2015
  #54
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Goodbye cruel world
I'm leaving you today

Goodbye all you people

There's no cacophony of incoherent metal riffs you can blast in unison to make me change my mind
Goodbye
Old 4th February 2015
  #55
This is a big part of the problem The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

Lots of people are still out of work or working far below their potential. Until that changes...and until people have more disposable income - good luck on selling more equipment.

Radio Shack is basically going out of business and other stores like Staples and OfficeMax are regrouping. The problem is people still have to have money to afford to purchase "things" at these stores and right now that is not happening.

The economy is not in as great a shape as the media and government and wall street would have us believe and families and individuals are having to work longer and harder just to provide for basic necessities. The idea of disposable income does not exist for large parts of our economy.

I think GC days are numbered and so maybe a lot of other big box merchants like Best Buys. The economy cannot support them and Amazon is becoming the #1 shopping destination in the nation...

FWIW
Old 4th February 2015
  #56
Fender, and to a lesser degree Gibson, are in deep **** when GC finally puts the shutters down forever. Sounds like we'll see what happens come April...
Old 4th February 2015
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old ghost View Post
Goodbye cruel world
I'm leaving you today

Goodbye all you people

There's no cacophony of incoherent metal riffs you can blast in unison to make me change my mind
Goodbye
HAHA! Thats a perfect description! "cacophony of incoherent metal riffs you can blast in unison" The worst is when the unspoken speed competitions take place. (Im guilty)


Im a pretty fast guitar player. Have a Associates in Jazz composition and guitar performance. Also work part time at a music school teaching music theory and guitar lessons. Executed 16th note band figures on uptempo swing tunes regularly, sweeps, tapping, speed picking, yada, yada, yada. I convert that speed to metal runs with high gain and it sounds pretty good.

I say this only out of fact. Zero intention of trying to brag or boast.
Im guilty of going in a playing some speed licks just to "show off" and what not.

Last time I was in a GC (long time ago) I picked up a Steve vai Jem and started playing on a peavy 6505 1X12 combo at pretty low volumes. There were three or four other younger guys around that were all playing. when I started doing my noodles and runs they all stopped at almost the exact time and all the noise was gone. Silence. About 5 seconds of the silence ensues, then all of them start playing as fast as they can. Of course after turning up their individual amps and of course they suck and its all a sloppy mess that instantly gave me a headache.

In my younger days I might have played the stilly game and 1 upped them. But as guy who is closer to 30 than 20. I just don't care. I sat there for about 5 seconds comprehending what I was hearing, then I simply got up and left.

The point of this story? None. But a retail shop where all the customers have control of loud amplifiers just sucks. I've had some ideas about how they could fix this. Make 8-10 iso rooms that people can go into. Put crappy low end amps in there and leave the nice expensive stuff for the people who ask for it. They usually only have 1 iso room thats is loaded with all the high end stuff. If they made many more rooms like that but just to people can play their stuff, it might be a more attractive place to go.

Last edited by Ienjoyaudio; 4th February 2015 at 03:50 PM.. Reason: I need to proof read
Old 4th February 2015
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
Fender, and to a lesser degree Gibson, are in deep **** when GC finally puts the shutters down forever. Sounds like we'll see what happens come April...
why is that?
Old 4th February 2015
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by djshire View Post
why is that?
GC is their biggest on-paper client and not only do they order the most inventory but there's also boatloads of it in stock at GC but not yet paid for. Fender's in it worse than Gibson as I understand it but both generate a massive amount of sales from GC.
Old 4th February 2015
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
GC is their biggest on-paper client and not only do they order the most inventory but there's also boatloads of it in stock at GC but not yet paid for. Fender's in it worse than Gibson as I understand it but both generate a massive amount of sales from GC.
I hadn't even considered the enormous headache -- not to mention the crazy expense -- of dealing with any consignment or other unpaid stock. I'm thinking there are a SLUG of guitars, amps and other gear sitting in hundreds and hundreds of super stores around the US and scattered elsewhere... I believe the operant marketing term would be glut.

There's no question that if it goes (and that seems well within the realm of the possible-to-quite-likely), it will leave a big crater in the middle of the MI retail scene. I mean a nuclear-sized one.

But the handwriting's been on the wall for a while -- people could tell that the Bain management team were pumping the company so full of debt that it couldn't possibly survive in the same form for long.

According to Craig Anderton, who was the 'editor-in-chief' over at Harmony Central in their glory days (pre-2010 they were the largest musician-oriented BB on the web but then Mitt Romney's Bain Capital brought in new management to Guitar Center/Musician's Friend-owned HC and pretty well destroyed it with a series of utterly disastrous changes that all but destroyed the usability of the site and reduced its traffic by what I'd guess to be 90% over only a couple years), many big gear makers have been developing contingency plans for a while. One strategy you'll see in any immediate shake-out of such a 'nuclear' event will be makers doing more direct sales online as well as them putting more effort into other third party online sales outlets.

Last edited by theblue1; 4th February 2015 at 07:09 PM..
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