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Carvin Store Closing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lustersilk, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. I was sorry to hear that our local Carvin store, in Santa Ana California, will be closing at the end of this month. I've always enjoyed being able to test new Carvin gear and kill time in that store. It's a shame, but I'm not surprised, I guess it's a sign of the times.
  2. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    That's odd because they've been hitting out of the park lately as far as great new products are concerned. My guess is either the lease arrangement or property taxes (might be related) got out of hand and they finally had enough.
  3. tehuti


    Jan 27, 2006
    They're closing the Hollywood store too, so I don't know if it is a lease thing or a general cost savings thing. I just checked their website and there was no mention, but they sent me a postcard announcing the closures.

    Sad. I guess I'd better head on down there one more time while I still can.
  4. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Yes, I received a post card from Carvin yesterday notifying that they were closing both the Santa Ana and Hollywood stores on April 26, 2014.

    Seems like it (sigh).
  5. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    hey, I went to that one in santa ana once, hasnt it been there a long time ? the one I went to was like twenty years ago
  6. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Don't quote me, but didn't they move, like across the street or down the street from their original location (Santa Ana) at some point?
  7. It comes down to whether the store was making money or not. If they weren't seeing income from it that they weren't getting elsewhere (web orders) then it makes sense to close 'em. Stores can be expensive to keep, between the lease, utilities, taxes, labor, insurance and local politics, just to name some factors. I'm guessing they just weren't paying off like Carvin expected them to. That's a shame, but I wasn't aware they had actual store fronts. My brother Dan and I would just head up to the factory and check 'em out there. Another wonderful fact of San Diego: proximity to Carvin.
  8. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Not to mention, Bass San Diego. ;)
    Haji likes this.
  9. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    The way taxes on businesses are going in California, and it will only get much worse, it's surprising to me that they stayed open so long.

    Wouldn't surprise me if they eventually move the head office and manufacturing out of state.

    Will there be a big sale on items in stock at those stores?
  10. Testing123

    Testing123 Eschew obfuscation

    Jan 21, 2006
    Orange County, CA
    Up to 40% off.
  11. Unfortunately, that's true. :(
  12. They closed the Covina store a while back. They never had what I wanted so I would have to order direct anyway or go across the street to GC. I thought they could have done a much better job by properly stocking their stores and locating them in wealthier suburbs.
  13. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    The company is doing great. It's just with almost all of their sales being online this made sense. I know this has to be a bummer for Bunny Brunel. He has been a fixture at the Hollywood location teaching bass for a good while.
  14. Lee Pomeroy

    Lee Pomeroy

    Apr 23, 2014
    Not to offend Roy who's an ace player, but he is a Carvin endorser. Carvin is not doing well. Their sales force is a fraction of what it was recently, they don't ship anywhere near the same number of orders as a few short years ago and these store closures are indicative of that. (The stores were outlets for returned items like guitars, so the number of sales being dramatically down leads to a lower number of returns, etc.)

    If you look at their recent model designs, you can see the heavy influence of other products (Warwick, Ibanez, etc...) being lauded as "great" and "new" designs by their sales manager. Not designed by a guitar guy mind you. Spend any time at their Facebook page (along with their A&R and sales manager's pages) and you'll see grasping for anything that floats.

    Laid off sales staff are hurt while you can be sure those who make the decisions that sink the ship are comfortably taken care of. They've been turning the heat up on the frog and it's too late, the frog's finally dead. The third generation seems to be destroying the family run business. Sure, their base will continue to buy but everybody has CNC and Plek now and at much better pricing.
    As for StayLow's comment about moving out of state. I don't see the Kiesels doing that because they'd either have to move with the company or they'd lose their direct control over day to day operations.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  15. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I'm not a Carvin endorser and I think their products are very good. Perhaps returns are down b/c QC is up. As for pricing, they're very competitive and lower than many others. Sure, the new models may be priced higher but the older models are still quite a deal. I would think that they'd keep some of the sales force as many do prefer to order over the phone.
  16. Lee Pomeroy

    Lee Pomeroy

    Apr 23, 2014
    Sales down=store closes
    Sales down further=2 stores close
    Sales down further=National sales staff cuts

    No matter what the quality, sales=$. You can sell Silvertones and make the same percentage of greenbacks as Fender, Gibson or Taylor, just move enough volume.
  17. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Carvin is a very conservative company. They are going to do what is necessary to stay in business.
    I once spoke to their sales manager on the phone trying to look into job prospects- at the time I had a 2 page musician resume and a 3 page inbound sales resume. Since I lived out of state he laughed at me.
    They don't take risks for long.
  18. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Sign of the times I say.
    With less venues to play at I think there are less players out there overall.
    Tough times for musicians.
    In contrast to gigs, I went to a comedy show last week.
    the place was packed at $20 a head.
    you don't see that for live music anymore.
  19. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You already said it, so I don't have to. But, I find it interesting that yesterday it was announced Toyota is moving its US headquarters from California to Texas. There is another large company coming from California as well, but I can't remember who they are.
    CA is a beautiful place, but not a good place to live from a financial perspective.
    Dash Lashes and sparkyfender2 like this.
  20. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Mesa Engineering! Warwick-G&L-Source Audio Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Yes the santa ana store was about 2 miles farther south on main st. Used to share a wall with a Guitar Center. In the early 90s. The Hollywood store used to be on Santa Monica blvd. Both stores moved Gc closed the Santa Ana store and moved to Fountain Valley. The Hollywood store moved across the street from guitar center. Sad. I bought my first real bass and rig from Carvin Hollywood on Santa Monica in 87. Pearl white LB90 which was neck through all maple, ebony board, and was the very same one that was used in the ads at the time, and had just come back from NAMM.... A Pro Bass 300 head, a slant 412 and a 2x15. Ran bi - amped..... Used it for quite a few years. That bass was my main bass for 5 years . Wish I would never have sold it.

    I happened to be in so Cal on business and stayed the weekend. Chose to stop by the Sunset guitar row on Saturday. I was sad to find out that many of the cool weird shops had all closed. Sam ash has 3 stores surrounding Gc. And found that the Carvin store's last day was that very day.... everything in boxes.. no blowouts like I had kinda hoped. The story I was told is that there simply was no reason to keep these showrooms open since virtually all the business has been on the Web . There is no profit from the brick and mortar storefronts for several years and have actually been losing a lot of money. Most of the stuff that ends up on Flea Bay comes from the 3 remaining stores that were showroom damaged or worn.... makes sense to keep the sandiego store operating. .. Sad .
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014