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Guitar Center Struggling

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Doner Designs, May 24, 2020.

  1. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Looks like Guitar Center (which also owns Musician's Friend and Music 123) is struggling amid the pandemic. Meanwhile Sweetwater just expanded again. Not sure what's happening with Sam Ash. Whatever you may think of individual retailers, competition is good for us consumers.

    We have a special relationship with Sweetwater because they do photography of our charity projects, but I also have many great memories of browsing the local Guitar Center and Sam Ash stores with my son over the years as well as buying his first guitar and my first bass (among other things) at the Guitar Center in Villa Park, Illinois.

    Let's hope they all make it. When they reopen pay a visit to your local store and buy something. We can all afford to buy a set of strings, picks, lesson book, etc and some can put that $1,200 toward a new bass.

    Guitar Center Downgraded After Distressed-Debt Exchange

    Sweetwater unveils new $52.5M distribution center
  2. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    The guys at GC Villa Park have given us some great deals on accessories for a couple of our charity projects over the years too (apologies for the counterfeit PF shirt my wife innocently purchased for me)...

    GC Visit Feb 2013.jpg
  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    Well,I did my part.
    The last bass I bought was from GC Online in Nov.
  4. jellymax

    jellymax Don't fry any wooden fish Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    They have the additional burden of their brick and mortar locations, which i really appreciate. Sadly, that may be a thing of the past.
    GreyEagle, WillieB, trickyric and 5 others like this.
  5. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Oh no. Another doom and gloom outlook for GC! I’ve been waiting years for the big GC bankruptcy liquidation sale TB members have predicted. Maybe now’s the time? Or just maybe they are struggling like every other business right now.

    On a side note, I read Sweetwater said recording sales have been a savior.
  6. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Maybe so but I hope not. Unlike a book there's nothing like being able to test drive several guitars or amps before buying.There is also nothing like the convenience of online buying so it is a dilemma.
  7. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Even in a bankruptcy most companies survive because creditors can make more betting on future business cash flows vs a liquidation fire sale. However, even in a Chapter 11 restructuring it's likely that many stores would be permanently closed and the survivors will tend to carry lower end product.

    I noticed the trend toward not stocking higher cost product several years ago. Sadly that's probably going to continue. It reduces the cost of carrying inventory but then you also lose buyers of higher end gear.
  8. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I just liquidated a couple of GC gift cards... not holding my breath until the merch arrives at my neighbor's doorstep.

    I have confidence someone will get it.
    nbsipics, trickyric and roswell1965 like this.
  9. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    Guitar Center has been specializing in lower priced gear because that’s what sells there. Not a knock against them, it just is what it is. Along the lines of bankruptcy, I hope they do survive in some capacity. Has much as people despise them here, they do provide a valuable business to musicians needing something in a pinch.
  10. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Reverb as a whole and Amazon to a lesser degree has been my go to for gear lately. Guitar Center mostly has low end stuff that doesn't interest me and I know that Sweetwater gets a lot of love here, but I don't see it. No sales, but we'll make up for it with a little bag of candy and a follow up sales call from a guy that doesn't really know much about bass.
  11. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    Yeah, lame that I cannot go into GC and look at all of the neglected basses that needed a setup months ago... but seriously, I think it's lame that I cannot go to get a set of strings...I'd wear a friggin' mask if I needed to but if I can go grocery shopping and go to the liquor store for beer and the pot store for weed,( I wouldn't pay their prices) then why should GC and hobby shops (cause I build models too) be closed? It's not like ten thousand people are crammed in stores like that. I need a couple sets of strings and a few cans of paint. I DON'T want to order them online because I want it back to normal.
    We're learning more everyday about how this virus, while deadly to some, is NOT to MOST.
    OPEN UP !!
  12. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    Well considering a MF supervisor on Friday told me a refund for a return of mine (which had been in their possession for a week already), could possibly take up to 3 more weeks - I believe this.

    Processing a refund takes nothing more than a few clicks of the mouse. Unless you don't have the money.
  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    No love for the chains. Support the locals. They are your friends and neighbors. They are the ones who have been a critical backbone of your music scene. So IMO I don’t care at all if GC is struggling as they are usually built on the ashes of the small business who sold you or your parents your first bass.

    I’m also not shocked that Sweetwater is doing well because they have a high service model.
    dSay, Joonbug, StyleOverShow and 20 others like this.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The local GC has been shut since the lockdown started and I won't buy an instrument without trying it first so as much as I may want an instrument I won't buy online.
    Tom Doran and lowplaces like this.
  15. The 'GC going under' threads come and go with the seasons 'round here; they're living a troubled retail life as are a lot of retailers. I wish them the best, as after it's all said and done, there's lots of jobs at stake for the long-termers there.

    A real and unspoken danger to their dilemma is IF they were to go down, how on Earth would the major players who stock their stores (the Fenders, Gibson, Yamahas, Rolands, and on down the line) be affected? It would keep me up at nights in Corona or Nashville and elsewhere trying to figure out how to make that volume elsewhere, especially as GC, like all big-box stores, tends to weed out and kill a lot of local businesses, in our case a lot of mom and pop music stores.

    Like a big ship sinking, it would could create quite a suction and take a lot of things with it. Scary.

    On a personal level, it's always been somehow ironic that a place with a big sign out front that says GUITAR CENTER has always had such a limited selection of strings. Funny, innit ?
  16. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    GC is wasting a ton of money IMO propping up multiple brands that sell the exact same inventory. If ever there was an opportunity to streamline operations, this is it.
  17. Sadly our local shops around here are way smaller and even more poorly stocked than the local GC. I miss the good old days of thriving local shops and amazing deals in dusty corners of pawn shops, but the world has moved on. For whatever it's worth (and no I don't work there), GC is offering 48 month no interest financing right now, along with a 180 day return policy.
  18. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    S. Texas Hill Country
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I bought a Digitech multi-effects pedal at the Honolulu/Pearl City store just a day or two before the guv and mayor shut down the entire state and Honolulu. Got some great customer service from the salesperson and store manage on duty. (Nothing but good things to say about that store and my local San Antonio store.)
    When I left Hawaii on the 15th they were still closed. Sheesh, those folks really got hit hard out there. The tour/entertainment business is really going to have a hard time.
    Here's what the airport looked like Fri. May 15 @6:00PM on my way out, this is the Delta and United counter:
  19. 4001

    4001 Inactive

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    GC has a limited selection of a lot of stuff. I remember going there in the 80's... different place nowdays.
    Spidey2112 and DJ Bebop like this.
  20. bmusic


    Oct 22, 2017
    Los Angeles
    Last week I got a used Ashdown practice combo for my daughter at the GC in Rancho Cucamonga. (It's an hour's drive away, but what else am I gonna do with my time?) I used curbside pickup, popped the trunk, and drove away with it without ever rolling down my window.

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