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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Henry J Responds : It's All Guitar Center's Fault!

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Gene from Tampa
Contributing Member
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Tampa, FL

Press On Irregardless
Feb 26th, 2018 06:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You can read the long interview posted on Billboard on Friday, but to save you time here's my summary of the main points:

Retail guitar sales are down since 2008 and it's mostly because Guitar Center's are mis-managed

- The expensive guitars are high on the wall and hard to demo without a sales person to get it for you

- There are no places to sit if you do demo something

- No new young women are buying guitars because Guitar Centers are located in the parts of town where you find pornography and parents won't go there

To combat these issues Gibson will be selling on-line directly


Boo Hoo

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Feb 26th, 2018 06:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Maybe restricting the brick & mortar dealer base to such places by imposing such high inventory requirements was a mistake.

Maybe

(-;

jefe46
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State of Jefferson

Feb 26th, 2018 06:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Henry J is not entirely wrong. GC sucks.. no matter the isolated and few reports of a "good" experience.

The local store is shoddy, poorly managed ( over 30 mangers in 20 years) untrained, slovenly, flippant staff, clueless staff.

Low inventory and what is there is poorly maintained and displayed. BTW the local GC has on average 3 Gibson acoustics.. guitars only no mandolins or banjos .. and often 2 are the same model.

Henry is right, my wife won't go into a GC even to get a set of strings for my grandson for Xmas.

As to the porn shot, ..I don't see porn but I see low rent districts.

Correct on the high inventory requirements, a friend and Martin/Collings Gibson dealer who owned a very fine guitar store who could easily afford the bump in inventory requirement told them to buzz off.. that the price and quality was not what Martin and Collings offered and he would rather put the money into that stock. He dropped them.

Gibsons are grossly overpriced. If Henry J is going to sell direct and compete with his few remaining dealers, that is the death knell.
If he were to do that, he should lower prices dramatically. This would wipe out those pesky dealers and significantly increase sales.



(This message was last edited by jefe46 at 10:08 AM, Feb 26th, 2018)

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Feb 26th, 2018 09:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'd say to read the article, not the summary.

"We've always been loyal to retail; we still don't have a site where we sell directly [to consumers]. We probably will in the future, and part of that is in reaction to general trending toward e-commerce. These are troubled times for retail." is not "Gibson will be selling on-line directly."

rok-a-bill-e
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Nashville,USA

Clawhammer Rules!
Feb 26th, 2018 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Selling high-end retail requires exclusivity. Take genuine Gibsons away from the mass marketers---perhaps leave that to Epiphone---and place them solely in small high-end shops, with protected territories, that cater to the pro and serious amateur/collector markets.
The actual product can be knocked off to at least equal quality, so all you've got that is exclusive is the name and the history and the cache of being the original. You can take that and run with it or let the brand get devalued down to worthless.


mfitz804
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Staten Island, NY

Our resident rational liberal
Feb 26th, 2018 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...because Guitar Centers are located in the parts of town where you find pornography and parents won't go there"

Man, have I been shopping at the wrong Guitar Center locations...

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Feb 26th, 2018 10:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The local GC is next door to a BevMo. Scotch and new strings, perfect!

Gibby has made a lot of guitars nobody wanted. Nobody bought them until the price was dropped so low that Gibson broke even at best. The retailer was the only one to make a buck or two. This keeps repeating itself.

He who is responsible for these build decisions along with faulty market research(if any), low build quality and high cost are the reasons for Gibson's troubles.

The "we must grow" way of doing business can be at fault also. Some suit says we need to grow 10% this year so wheels are set in motion to build 10% more guitars with no orders to support that quantity. This has gone on for years with Gibson. It has not been rare for the big box music store to be blowing out 2 year old Giggy inventory.

Gibson's biggest fault is that they have borrowed the capital to attempt to grow their business but have not made enough profit on that borrowed money to pay it back with interest.

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Feb 26th, 2018 10:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What an incredible idiot, no wonder they're on the brink of bankruptcy.

NOTE - If GC "sucks," it's usually because of many of the "shoppers," not the store or the employees. This has been my long experience with shopping at numerous GC stores.

ECS-3
Contributing Member
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USA / Virginia

Feb 26th, 2018 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Maybe taking on extreme levels of debt to buy into business areas you know nothing about was part of the problem.

jefe46
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State of Jefferson

Feb 26th, 2018 10:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


"NOTE - If GC "sucks," it's usually because of many of the "shoppers," not the store or the employees. This has been my long experience with shopping at numerous GC stores."

My first experience with a GC was in 1995 in San Bernardino and it was not a good one.. followed by another bad experience at the same place a few weeks later. That prompted me to call GC HQ VP of customer service. What a shrew.. a clueless shrew.
No wonder the stores suck.

Then I moved to the So Oregon area and found Musician's Friend. What a fantastic outfit. Then GC swallowed them and lied they would keep "the mother store" just as it is to include personnel and inventory.

90 days later, 50% inventory reduction, 50% employee reduction and the mismanagement of the inventory and the store.. I rarely visit.. and it has gotten worse. The GC in Eugene Oregon is better but substandard.

It is NOT the fault of the customers, as a business owner/operator you make your customers.
Nothing to sell and lack of professionalism and inventory maintenance... what would you expect for a result.

Gibson is mismanaged, GC is mismanaged in my learned and experienced opinion.
Let 'em die.. or sell them to qualified owner/operators.




Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

NW Pennsylvania

Feb 26th, 2018 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That guy's a bigger tool than we realized.



jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Feb 26th, 2018 11:30 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Arrogant and the only thing that matters to him is his salary, stock options and the value of the stock.

Next.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Feb 26th, 2018 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^^this^^

With regards to GC, they used to "feel" like a mom & pop store. We are talking 80s and early 90s. There were store personnel that knew their products and you could make your own deal. Negotiation to close your sale seem to be actually encouraged. It was a fun place to shop. My first experiences were at the store in Covina, CA.

In my latest round of dread shopping I visited most of the GC stores in SoCal and most of the high end acoustic shops. Trying to find something as common as a Martin D28 and a Taylor 810 in the same store GC was impossible. Private music stores too BTW.

Not only is Gibson mismanaged but GC stores are as well and it comes from the top down. They can't keep employees. There are always new faces and rarely does anyone even at manager level know about the gear they sell. How are these folks going to sell a guitar that lists for over $3K?

Most of my friends just buy online and return until they get a good one.

jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Feb 26th, 2018 12:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Contrast Sweetwater and GC.



bongo122819
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usa

All I need is one more guitar
Feb 26th, 2018 03:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I read Henry's article.
Heck I'm no fan of Guitar Center but to be fair, the one I go to is in a perfectly safe shopping center.
Frankly it's glutted with overpriced Les Pauls and the need to exhibit them 3 & 4 rows high does inhibit their accessibility.
just sayin'

BrentD
Contributing Member
*********

Michigan

5 DIFFERENT CITIES 15 DIFFERENT MORONS.
Feb 26th, 2018 03:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Rev, Gibson is already selling online directly.

For evidence - I hope this doesn't violate any rules.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Feb 26th, 2018 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well then, news to me!

All I can comment on was what was in the article.

Not that I'm likely to buy direct any more than Fender!

jefe46
Contributing Member
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*****

State of Jefferson

Feb 26th, 2018 06:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Violating rules is competing against your dealers.

That tells me all I need to know about Henry and Gibson.

A V O I D

daveg
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Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Feb 26th, 2018 09:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well...he seems to be fairly clueless. The last question/answer portion pretty much bears that out....the "purists" vs what kids want. Well you're selling on average $2-3K guitars....to kids? In what fantasy world is a product that expensive with kids being their main customers? So when you slap robo tuners on everything, jack up the prices and the "purists" (also known as your customers with the ability to spend that amount of money) complain and don't want what you're selling...you best listen because these people ARE your customers. I really don't ever recall too many kids in my youth playing Hummingbirds and 335's...we had Epiphones and MIJ Squiers. Then there's Epiphone, which is probably their main competition. They make a great high quality product for a lot less...a lot less. He did a lot of good for the company 30 odd years ago but now it's time to go.

jefe46
Contributing Member
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State of Jefferson

Feb 27th, 2018 07:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Epiphone ELTIST models made in the Terada shop in Japan exceeded Gibson quality at a 1/3 of the price. Henry pulled the plug. I owned a BYRDLAND.. outstanding.. far superior to the Gibson version.

As with the original Henry J.. there was a time and place, and it is not now.
He needs to go.

I think HERITAGE needs to take them over.

(This message was last edited by jefe46 at 09:43 AM, Feb 27th, 2018)

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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Henry J Responds : It's All Guitar Center's Fault!




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