Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Pro Guitar Shop is closing

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by moosie, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    Well, if you're a Ford shopper, you're a Mazda shopper, at least partly. :eek: Or at least were, going back to the 90's or so.

    Along with the shift to internet shopping as the default, IME the days of a product being exclusively "made in _______" are over. Some assemblies and portions are subbed out and come from elsewhere. Sometimes the engineering and design is done from some other country that the parent company has an affiliation with. Oftentimes, I think "made in" is now more correctly stated as "assembled in," and if there's any advantage to the country/location worth listing, IMO it's just marketing. IOW, they will find some region with a lower-cost labor workforce, less regulation costs, and so on.

    ...What's interesting is that there's been a few occasions when I've Googled the town/province/whatever where assembly occurs, and oftentimes find out that the country itself is probably irrelevant - the company's manufacturing costs are purposefully as low as they can be, by choosing the specific state/town/province. IOW, it's a rare thing to have a thriving "made in location" that's somewhere adjacent to a town or area that citizens would purposefully choose to move to, to live in, to raise a family in, and have extended careers with long-term (decent) prospects in.

    Case in point for me was that I recently got a call from a recruiter/headhunter about a long-term contract/project in KY (for software development, which I dedicate a percentage of my income-making time to), and the recruiter clearly pointed out that their HQ was "just over the state line" in IN. IOW, much lower cost of operations in KY (insert "duh" here), so it sounds like a decent percentage of their labor force would be leveraged at the lowest costs possible. Whatever they were trying to tout to me as advantages to relocate (sounds like they would put me in IN and not KY), I just wasn't buying it. I guess these "hybrid workforce approaches" are probably the new norm, and they probably do manage to cobble up some folks from the metro areas to come work out in the sticks, so to speak.

    ...I'm just bringing up the above example because it hints at how Joe Citizen (e.g. me), wherever this person may be in the world, is getting incorporated into this new variation of the decentralized business paradigm. I have no doubt that they coordinate it with strategies that market, sell, and distribute the products online.
    moosie likes this.

  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    ^Commoditization. Of things and people. It's hard to compete on price only (or primarily). There's always someone willing or able to cut a little closer to the bone. Enterprises that begin by doing something few others can do, earn outsized profits for their effort. Such profits attract competition. The incumbent has margins of 35%, well, there's someone who will GLADLY do that for "only" 32%. If the industry has no barrier against becoming a commodity item, before you know it, margins have been cut to just a percent or two above the long-term average bond, stock index, or whatever else may be deemed as a comparatively "risk free" return. I've always been wary of investing in, or working for, those companies. It's a zero sum game.

    Jerry Garcia once said something to the effect: "Don't be the best at what you do. Be the only one who does what you do."

    Apple is the poster child these days. Go ahead, try and start from scratch, to compete at that level. Not easy to do. Much better long term to do what they did, and ignore the status quo. That's even more difficult, but zero sum it is not.

  3. Huddy

    Huddy Tele-Meister

    Nov 5, 2016
    Newport News, VA
    Your Jerry quote reminds me of something I heard on a sitcom 15-20 years ago...

    "Sell a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he steals all your customers"

  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Huh? :lol:

  5. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    I live in Portland and work close to where the now closed Portland retail store was. I used to walk past it few times a week and never once thought about going in. I looked in the window a few times to realize they had zero used instruments and that didn't interest me at all. As a long term resident, their choice of location was really strange. They were originally out in Tigard and tried to open a real retail store in a very expensive area in NW Portland that musicians wouldn't normally live around or go to. It wasn't next to any clubs though they were a few blocks away from The Crystal Ballroom, so that part always seemed very weird to me. I guess the mail order was the more important part of their business model, but if you are going to paying upwards of $3-4K or more per month to have a retail space then it should be by other businesses that have some fit.

    Renting in the Pearl District automatically turned off some guitarists from the get go. Most musicians live in SE, NE or North Portland, and they don't live around 11th & Glisan where PGS was located. That was part of their problem as they wanted to name their store Portland Guitar Store in a very unPortland part of Portland(another reason I never went in). After they moved out, the space remained vacant for almost a year until a Kohler showroom moved in. At least Andy gets to continue on doing demos for Reverb. Andy does great demos and has an intuitive sense of providing many different musical contexts for the range of possible sounds from whatever is being demoed.
    moosie likes this.

  6. kuvash

    kuvash Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2010
    Upper California
    ....and some have a really poor attitude when I've tried to do business. I am not the enemy so don't go off on me about online shopping or Fender or Gibson and what is required to do business with them....or worse yet just ignore me I'm here to do business.

  7. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    I'm not gonna read through all of the above, but I am familiar with business and profit margins. Profit margins have become so small in these last 6 or 8 years, that those stores hanging on or trying to, like GC, Sam Ash, Pro Guitar Shop, and others can't continue. Eventually they will fold, unless they switch to online primarily, and offer free shipping, as well as cut rate pricing.

    Amazon, Alibaba and others, are here to stay. They've figured out how to make it work, by eliminating the middle men, by shipping direct to the customer, and perhaps negotiating better prices with their suppliers.

    Yes, customer service is important too. For me at least, that placed a big part in my decision to continue using a particular GC and one in another state to help me in procuring vintage gear. They both have managers that are all to willing to bend over backwards to make me happy, yet they both make some money as well. Keeps the proverbial cash flowing. I have had similar relationships with other managers, other stores, and people leave, stores hire different, indifferent employees who just don't give a flop how they help a customer.

    My 02.

  8. DeVilleDude

    DeVilleDude Tele-Holic

    TIL.....Portland musicians won't patronize your business if you DARE set up shop in the wrong neighborhood. And some neighborhoods in Portland aren't "portland' enough to be considered Portland.

    Oh kay....

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