1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Is Guitar Center downsizing their Bass section?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tbz, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    I was at my local GC for the first time in a while today, and inventory wise their Bass section was a complete ghost town.

    Inventory for basses was at about 1/2 of what it was at in June of 2012; amp inventory was about 1/3 of what they had then.

    Looks like they are trying to dump all their Ampeg gear at that store as the listed prices are ~20% below GC online prices for new stuff.

    Seemed like their inventory was really minimal as well; nothing over about $700 other than Ibanezes and Fenders. Overall inventory was just Fender, Ibanez, a few Epihones, and a few MM SUBs.

    Is anyone else seeing the same thing? Maybe it's just this particular store; it'd suck if this was a trend.
  2. JennySuzuki


    Dec 18, 2013
    I've heard a rumor that they're having a problem with debt.

    I would imagine (and these are only my imaginings) they're having the same problem that other brick and mortar stores are: people come in and try things out, and then go away and order them over the internets, which leads to the local store not being able to pay their bills. Additionally, if they're having problems paying their bills, that could lead to selling stuff and not being able to replace what they've sold.

    If these are correct surmises, I would expect that the effects would be seen in their lower volume stores first, and that these effects would be a prelude to store closures.
  3. meteor


    Aug 21, 2013
    My gc used to have a bass room, now we have the back wall of the main room.
  4. I've noticed the same thing at a local GC. Really low quality bass selection.
  5. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    I've thought that about GC for the last 10 years or so. I'm in Socal too and I see what you're saying. I remember even the San Berdoo store used to have a couple vintage basses, maybe a Custom Shop or 2, and a decent selection of $1000+ American basses, etc.. But now it's just seems like it's always just $500 Ibbys, cheap Hofner copies, starter pak bass/amp combos, maybe a really bad playing and abused MIA P or J (that haven't been set up, ever). I've wondered many times if GC is just slowly giving up on bass.
  6. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    With most of these big chain, corporate, capitalism stores; The problem isn't that people aren't buying basses and guitars. Or TVs or computers or whatever the big ticket products are. These items are often sold for barely above cost.

    The problem is that when customers leave the store to go buy on the internet, there's no chance to talk them into buying the price jacked accessories such as cases, cables, damage insurance, etc.

    Yeah, selling a guitar or TV or whatever, makes that top line money.

    But the bottomline comes from everything else. Staples calls it "Market Basket".

    The system is broken to begin with, of course. It's these companies own fault for setting up a sales economy where they don't make meaningful money unless you buy 5 things.

    and the double issue is that they are renting the land and often the building, too. The rent/lease prices are inane and keep getting driven higher.
  7. feeblefingers


    Mar 16, 2012
    Last time I went to GC, it was super bare. Especially the bass section. Mostly Ibanez (nothing against them, I own two).
  8. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Last time I went to GC thay had a fewl Squier, Hofner Ignition, Low end Ibanez and not much else. Nothing to peak my interest. The amp selection was pretty crummy also. A few small Fender and Peavey amps in the 15 to 30 watt range. I guess parents are buying for the kids but not much else.
  9. tbz


    Jun 28, 2013
    Funny thing, I was at GC Cerritos yesterday and saw the exact same thing as Northridge.

    Bass Room was paired down to a few Ampeg stacks, all marked down with yellow tags, and a ton of combos. There were probably less than 30 basses on the wall, only decent ones were used.
  10. LazyGecko


    Nov 19, 2013
    Haha yeah GC might be having problems with their bass section but at my local Guitar Showcase their bass section expanded :D
  11. cv115505


    Sep 14, 2012
    Oklahoma City
    I think the word may be out on GC... I would never buy a new instrument from them because the stuff on the wall isn't really new. It should either be priced as a 'demo' model or, in some extreme cases, priced as used. I buy a lot of used items at GC because of their selection and I like the salesmen, but I never recommend buying new there unless you walk in just as they are taking it out of the box. I actually just bought a Reverend Manta Ray guitar, Carvin combo amp, and a mid 70s Kustom 100 bass stack from my local GC... all excellent
  12. I was just at the Phoenix store and I honestly thought they had quite a few. Probably 50.
  13. dieseldan


    Nov 14, 2010
    The same problem of losing customers who buy over the internet may apply to those who now sell over the internet. If more bass owners sell their basses on ebay, then there are less being traded or sold to GC.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I have definitely noticed a decline in used gear selection at all of my local GCs. When looking at a specific store, there used to be 10-20 pages of stuff. Now it's only about 5-10 pages.
  15. bass section has tripled in size at my local GC over the past year.
  16. el_cody_loco


    Feb 13, 2013
    I'm noticing this at GC as well as my local music shop. Bass equipment is thinning out... I guess it makes sense to a cheapo like me. I could either buy an amp online and have it shipped to me, or I could buy an amp at the store, pay taxes on it, and haul it to my house. But there's something nice about trying the amp in-store to make sure it's what you REALLY want.

    That said, the acoustic guitar section has expanded exponentially in the last year... With no upright or acoustic basses at all. (Sigh)
  17. el_cody_loco


    Feb 13, 2013
    Haha you're one of the lucky ones then! :D
  18. Ds1

    Ds1 Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2008
    Syracuse, NY
    Owner: Ish Guitars, Inc. Owner: Ish Case, Inc
    Yeah, I've seen the same thing here in Syracuse. The bass selection used to be beautiful. Warwicks, MM's, tons of Ampeg and then Markbass. Now its really awkward. A handful of Acoustic amps. A bunch of basses missing from the hooks on the walls. NO MM or Warwick at ALL. Just cheap junk kind of stuff, half of it I can't even name.
  19. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    I just hate that I can barely ever find a 6 string bass at ANY store, and even more rare :bag: a 6 string Fretless.

    Before you jump all over me, I know it's all supply and demand. I get that, I just want to have my rant too. :D