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What happened to Guitar Center?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Gary in Boston, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 18, 2018
    WV
    Actually, that doesn't sound half bad. Nothing I hate more than waiting in line at the counter for the chance to ask a less-than-enthusiastic salespunk if they (1) have D'Addario 10s, and (2) will take a moment out of their busy day being non-helpful to customers to reach up behind themselves and grab me a pack.

    If I can just run in and grab a string pack off of a rack, take it to a regular purchase counter, and be on my way, I may actually go to another GC. Maybe.
     
  2. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Texas and Louisiana
    We have a fairly new one in the neighboring city of Tyler, TX. I don't know what it looks like after Christmas, but we were in there twice during December and it was well stocked with some cool stuff. The staff left a little to be desired, but you'll have that from time to time.

    Thus far, I much prefer the one in Shreveport, LA, which is about the same distance away.
     
    boris bubbanov likes this.
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I remember when Orlando had 2 Sam Ashes, 2 GCs, and they had a Best Buy that was stocked to the gills with a peculiar but fairly high quality mix of basses, amps and electrics. Everybody had too much stock, they just did and they often blew stuff out because they simply needed the room for the next shipments. I don't think any location of anybody is like that anymore. So to me it isn't empty stores bereft of anything. It is more than you aren't tripping over spare things propped all over the place.

    I'm doing something different or weird when I enter a store, compared to you. They think I'm a factory rep trying to spy on them or some guy their competitor hired to go check them out. I can't be left alone in a Ma and Pa store, and sometimes I can in a George's Guitar Emporium or Sam Ash and I'm guaranteed all the space I need in most any Guitar Center and that's what I like. And if I hear someone with some real chops and they say hello, I might come out of my shell but mostly I'm there to commune with the mdse. And not the other customers or the staff.

    I cannot emphasize enough the visceral connection between a specific guitar or amp, and the player who is turning one on and tuning up the other. The newest products are of amazing quality and CONSISTENCY but you still have to play the dam stuff before you buy. So long as you can keep your wits about you, you will emerge with a better piece if you buy in person and I would rather buy my Microwave Ovens and Washing Machines over the Internet. Things like produce, mattresses/boxsprings, guitars and amps intended for personal use should be checked out and bought in person. They say some people acquire a bride from Thailand or Russia over the internet but I wouldn't do that and to me, the guitar is approaching equal importance. But I could be mistaken.....:^)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    t guitar floyd and dented like this.
  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    If buying a nice guitar, you can bypass the MF 'call center' and call their Private Reserve directly. But yes, Sweetwater gives the same thing at any price point.

    It's possible to do even better, on a regular basis, if you speak to the right person, communicate well, and exercise some patience.
     
    Tim S likes this.
  5. flatout9

    flatout9 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    888
    Aug 6, 2009
    Houston, TX

    Yup, I actually drive twenty miles out of my way to go to a decent guitar center. The local ones just tick me off because of poor service. Actually just picked up a Baja from there last week and was happy with the experience.
     
  6. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2006
    Space
    I was just at my local GC today. Location-wise it should be one of the "crappy suburban" ones, but it's the only GC in Miami-Dade county (along with 2 Sam Ash stores), so perhaps that explains why most guitars I saw were priced what I'd call mid-range (~$500) and up. Decent amount of Epiphones, Squiers and the like, if not a lot of selection (that is, lots of guitars representing few models).

    The store also borders a fairly affluent area, so probably a higher-than-average number of people nearby who can afford the fancy stuff, or are more likely to start their kid off on a MIM Fender rather than a Squier all-in-one pack.
     
  7. Gmountain

    Gmountain Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    633
    Jun 7, 2015
    Florida
    Same as MF, except MF gives points. I've bought from Sweetwater too.
     
  8. Slim Chance

    Slim Chance Tele-Holic

    857
    Mar 1, 2011
    Beltway, USA
    I have a small GC that's a 10 minute/6-7 block walk from my house. Not nearly as many guitars as other stores due to it's smaller size. It's inside a small downtown mall. Nevertheless, they stock a good number of higher end Fenders, including Elite, AO, and Professional lines. However, when I want to really try something, I drive about 20 minutes to the flagship GC store in Rockville, MD, where I can take whatever gear I want into a private room that is more-or-less sound proof. Last time I did this, I played everything from a Player Tele to an AO through the 1960 Fender Pro Amp that was sitting there. That will never happen at my local M & P.

    Even when I'm not at a larger GC, most now have practice rooms for their lessons. I just ask to use one of them for some privacy. Also, going in the morning or early afternoon helps. As far as employee satisfaction, it's a crap shoot. Sometimes it's good and others, not. I don't expect service like I'd find in Saks or Nordstrom's, though, so I'm not usually disappointed.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  9. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Mar 17, 2017
    Massachusetts
    In the last year the Danvers, MA and Nashua, NH GCs have transitioned to their new floor plan... they looked pretty bad during the process.

    It's probably been 2 years since I was in the Framingham one, could be they are doing the transition.

    They clear out a bunch of space to make room for the new Padded Cell (TM) lesson booths, and to redo all wall fixtures with locking fixtures for all the good stuff, particularly in the acoustic room.

    Then they get rid of the "new pedals" area and instead just have used pedals in the case but mark them up more than brand new ones online.
     
    noah330 likes this.
  10. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Maryland
    The larger cities tend to have the better stores.

    You’re in Framingham. The Boston store usually has a decent selection of higher and lower end stuff.

    With online being so popular I don’t blame them for not stocking higher end gear at the lower level stores.

    Like Macy’s, GC stores are leveled to carry what the people around them buy.
     
  11. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    345
    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    My local GC has like a thousand guitars.
     
  12. John E

    John E Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Connecticut
    Yeah I'm in Newtown... the Danbury GC is awful, I am surprised it's still open actually. The Manchester one is still pretty good, also Southington and Orange have decent stores as well.

    Check out Georges Music in Torrington, he has some nice stuff, big G&L dealer. Whenever I buy gear I generally buy from Alto music in Wappingers Falls. Love that store. Their Middletown store is great too but I like the staff better in WF. A bit of a drive but worth it IMO.
     
    moosie likes this.
  13. BuckNekkid

    BuckNekkid Tele-Meister

    293
    Nov 28, 2016
    Virginia, USA
    If businesses are smart, they try to sell off inventory before the beginning of the year. This makes space for new inventory and product updates. I work in a retail store part-time, and every year we try to be as sparse as possible coming out of the holidays.

    Additionally, this reduces the value of inventory, which makes sense for investors and people who are looking at a company's health. Too much leftover inventory looks bad.
     
    boris bubbanov and moosie like this.
  14. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    Contrary to what most of the forums are claiming, the two Gc's here in Charlotte are doing very well. I have seen a reduction in the number of new Gibsons, and Epiphones, but most of what I would be looking for is usually there. I have noticed that some of the higher end guitars are hung out of reach, but both stores know that I'm there to buy, so getting something taken down has not been a problem. And, I've always known which of the salesmen are most knowledgable, and those are the guys that I look for.
    And, since I'm retired, I can get in thee first thing in the morning and have the place pretty much to myself.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  15. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 17, 2013
    Essex UK
    Viscous circle, GC gets a little run down, people look to buy on line. Local GC sees a downturn, gets a little more run down. Few more people buy in line, few more spaces on the wall at the local GC, more people...........you get the picture
     
    problem-child and moosie like this.
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    62
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I try to imagine a world where the pendulum swings back, brick/mortar is seen as the ideal, and customer service training is at an all-time high. With so many underemployed locals to train...

    I don't see it happening though. Not saying there won't be further change, but it'll be a surprise. Always is, or it would already be happening.
     
  17. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
    I was in the Nashua store recently but only played some acoustics in the
    quiet acoustic room. The Boston and Natick stores are always chaotic.
     
  18. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Meister

    Age:
    72
    316
    May 8, 2014
    Katy, TX
    Up until a couple of years ago the Houston Guitar Center's were full of higher end new and vintage gear. On telecaster's they loss their A$$ paying big bucks for vintage which they ended up selling at a (big) loss. One store shipped their entire vintage inventory to the Hollywood GC in California. Recently when I purchased my CDR Handwired at the GC here in Katy, TX I mentioned to the store manager how all the GC's seemed not to have any higher quality guitars and amps like they use too. He said that corporate present business model was to sell the middle of the road music products with an emphasis on large inventory turns which had positive bottom line results. Customer wanting the Custom Shop Guitars and other high end equipment had to special order, on line or in the store, and then be able to determine if the purchase was to their liking.
     
  19. Dog Bite

    Dog Bite TDPRI Member

    49
    Oct 30, 2018
    Jersey
    Went to the Cherry Hill NJ store. Sunday, standing room only lol. Well stocked got to see the Tele performer with humbucker. Didn't play it, too crowded. Feels like my American Special. I like the looks of the retro tuners. They were low on amps, I figure they sold a bunch for Christmas. I sometime go to the Wilmington Delaware store to save the tax, no sales tax there. I really like that store, always treated fine and well stocked.
     
    BrandonIke likes this.
  20. Tuneup

    Tuneup TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    45
    Jan 6, 2019
    USA
    They are ~2 billion in debt.
     
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