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Guitar Center Possible Bankruptcy (yet again)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by warrent, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    You ask all the mom and pop stores you go to how they're doing?

    There are hardly any "mom and pop" music stores even left where I live. I don't see how they could be having record years given most places were forced to close and the limits on customers allowed in stores etc and even getting product was probably hard for a while given how everything was shut down. I bike for example and there was a period where you couldn't find any bikes or biking equipment because the supply had been cut off. Online sales are a different story but actual physical mom and pop stores doing great? I find that hard to believe.

    Back to GC, I worked very briefly for Guitar Center's DC in Brownsburg Indiana and I was shocked at how they treat equipment. They send Gibsons and Fenders down a conveyor system the same as any other guitar. After seeing how the equipment is handled, conveyors, falling off the line, getting in jams, thrown (often literally) into a truck that sits for days in the blazing heat and freezing cold before being shipped, etc I wonder how many "QC" issues are actually the result of how the equipment is handled and shipped.

    I hate shopping at GC, their staff is often lazy and rude. I try my best not to go there but sometimes if I need something right away I don't have much choice. But their staff is often lazy and rude. I took my Les Paul there about 5 years ago to have it set up and partially refretted.....they had the guitar for 2 months and literally didn't even start working on it. I finally got fed up after 2 months of waiting and when I went to the store I got into an argument with the kid behind the counter. I told him they should tell customers about the incredible wait time for service and he told me they did. I replied that they most certainly didn't tell me they would have my guitar 2 months before even starting on it. We went back and forth but their service just sucks and has made me actively avoid their stores (there are 2 GC within a half hour from my home).

    I never buy anything online from GC.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  2. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I was in GC a few years ago buying cables (I only go to GC if I need something right away, otherwise I order online, generally from Sweetwater) and there was a Vox guitar hanging on the wall. I was looking at it and somehow one of the sales guys and I started talking about it and he said he didn't even know Vox made guitars. I mean Vox isn't a huge guitar company.....but working at a guitar store how could you not know that they made guitars? There's the famous Teardrop guitar etc. Plenty of rock stars have played Vox guitars, Bowie, Brian Jones, Jimmy Page.

    I just assumed working at GC you'd be into gear and gear history etc but I guess not.
     
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  3. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have sold more than a handful of new guitars at Guitar Center... but I've never been a GC employee. It has always pained me to see someone make a poor buying decision/no decision at all because he/she simply didn't know what to look for or the right questions to ask, so I was always happy to help when no salespeople were nearby or when it was obvious that they couldn't answer basic questions for the customer (which was quite often).
     
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  4. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    The more I read about companies like this that are bought by private equity firms, the more I see the word bankruptcy.
     
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  5. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah there's a fine line between good customer service and being annoying. I appreciate being asked if I need help though. I've walked in....and then out....of GC without buying anything simply because I literally couldn't find anyone to help me. I went in to buy something a few years ago and I was standing by the cash register which had a line (I couldn't find anyone to help me on the floor) of people waiting when the manager and an employee walked out of a back area, they were discussing some kind of performance report but I looked at them and kind of made a move towards them (they both saw me) and they just kept right on walking. I'd already walked around the whole store trying to get someone to help me and after waiting 10 minutes or so I just left. I've had that same kind of experience multiple times there.

    They also have the most ridiculous Covid policy, people standing outside like bouncers at a club. My friend and I went there not too long ago to buy a drum head (we needed it right away otherwise I would have ordered online) and the guy at the door said "and be sure to keep those masks on guys". The way he said it just annoyed us. You have to wear a mask everywhere, we all know the drill by now, but I've never had anyone tell me to keep it on at any other store or restaurant I've gone to since this hysteria started.
     
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  6. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Meister

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    .
     
  7. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    I live in Indy too. I bought a JCM Slash at that Mars years ago. Not a huge fan of Sam Ash but I don't actively dislike going there like I do GC. GC's staff just do not give a **** as far as I can tell. Especially that one in Greenwood.
     
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  8. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    The Mars in Indianapolis was pretty big. It's a Sam Ash now and it's been awhile since I went there but from memory it seemed at least as big as the 2 GC by my home.
     
  9. Allenjason95

    Allenjason95 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, that's the only time I shop there too. When I have to have something right away.
     
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  10. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    I’m not a fan of Guitar Center. I buy exclusively from independent shops. When I’m living in my home in Tennessee I buy exclusively from Campbell’s Morrell and when I’m living in my home in Alabama I buy exclusively from Bailey Brothers Music. And that’s it.
     
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  11. buster poser

    buster poser Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    There is a very similar thing going on with bicycles (sales numbers way way up across the board).

    None of the shops in this multi-metro area--both big box and small specialty shops--have much of anything in stock, and back orders are weeks or months in length.
     
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  13. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell TDPRI Member

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    I can't say that I would be sad to see them go.

    Based on my interactions with them, they are either incompetent or extremely dishonest.

    I've ordered gear from them that was obviously damaged prior to shipment, but they sent it anyway. They just don't seem to care.
     
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  14. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    I'm pretty "good" at seeing things pragmatically, especially if a situation can be described academically or anticipated, which is usually true about things happening in the economy. I grew up in the steel belt around the time most of the mills were closing, and was affected by it like everyone else. WIC (or whatever it was called then) kept us kids in Campbell's soup and boiled chicken for a couple years. There are still people back there screaming that politicians should do something to bring steel jobs back and it drives me nuts. I'm sympathetic and don't wish hardship on anyone, and it's true that some poor souls get caught in any churn, but otherwise: The market (which included you) took those jobs away, and who promised you wouldn't have to adapt or hustle? I tend to feel the same way about B&Ms: If the model isn't viable anymore, it isn't viable anymore, and I'm not likely to lose sleep over it.

    But I do really like handful of independent stores and try to give them business when I can, like you describe. Either because they're awesome people, have awesome knowledge, or provide what they provide in a novel way or package. I have no illusion that I'm keeping any of them alive now or into the future. Hopefully the good ones already know or figure out how to differentiate themselves from those that really will become irrelevant. Nobody will survive, competing with Sweetwater or Walmart or Amazon to sell commodity goods, without also offering some marginal utility that the box/internet stores can't.

    GC might be subject to pressure from both ends here: They're paying to maintain leases, keep the lights on and staff all those stores, while not really providing much MU that Sweetwater etc. can't. I can get something at GC today, but as has been repeated already it's not always pleasant or easy. I can put my hands on a guitar before buying, but there's no guarantee that guitar ever got a real setup, its rusty strings changed, or the last guy's french fry grease polished from it. I can get customer service eventually, but probably from someone who will only call me man. Adds up to a lot of "meh..."

    I do like cherry picking their used gear online, but that's certainly not going to keep the lights on for them.
     
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  15. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, because turkeys can fly!!:lol::lol::lol:
     
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  16. barrymclark

    barrymclark Tele-Meister

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    Could well be different in GC's outside of the ones I am nearest to. Its a ghost town and just not much for inventory worth writing home about. The Sam Ash just up the road that a friend works at is in similar trouble. According to those locations, they struggle against the online stores. While bad management is without question a notable part of the pie, I'm walking proof of no longer shopping in store. In the case of brick & mortar, I wasnt so much meaning the mom & pop. I apologize for not being clear on that. The smaller shops I know of are also doing well. Somewhere between COVID boredom and their online component, they're killing it. Their overhead is notably lower than the GC's and Sam Ashes. This is where Sweetwater is just killing it. One store. Massive online. So long as they don't do something as silly as opening stores everywhere *cough... GC. MARS, Sam Ash* , Sweetwater will be around for quite sometime barring financial catastrophe. Honestly cool seeing the small mom & pop shops come back.
     
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  17. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    It’s now mine also. Hopefully a 50KW clear channel AM station. Gotta get the word out. Whatever it is
     
  18. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I think the building started life as a giant furniture store, so yeah it's pretty big.
     
  19. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

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    Mismanagement can wipe any amount of profits. In my opinion GC has lost its way. When I started going into their stores 30 years ago in Texas and last 20 years in Oklahoma they were GREAT stores with LOTS of Inventory. They have slowly shrunk the Inventory of guitar and amps in the store that I go to to the level that I switched to Sweetwater Online.
    Its pretty bad when earlier this year I went in GC to by a NEW Fender Blues JR IV and they did not have any in stock. [Basic principle of retail business=cant sell what you don't have]
    Came home -went on Sweetwater webpage and ordered their exclusive tweed model with the Eminence Red-White-Blues speaker. Great Amp and great Service from Devon at Sweetwater.
    In my opinion unless GC makes some major changes in the way they do business soon they are in serious trouble.
     
  20. Hpilotman

    Hpilotman Tele-Meister

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    I have ran into the same problem at GC in the last 3 years. Sales people on the floor who are clueless or know very little about their products including Fender Tube Amps.
    It has not always been this way. Shame to see the Decline of another Once Great American business. This is what happens many times when Stock Brokers take over a company and don't have long term ties to the product.
    Remington Firearms is a very RECENT Example of this very situation. Looks like GC is going down the same road.
     
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