Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

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digitaldrummer
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Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by digitaldrummer » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:23 am

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 294720002/

I also received an email directly from Musician's Friend telling me everything's gonna be alright...
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by markjazzbassist » Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:49 am

they have been on their last legs for years now. the sad thing is, most music manufacturers are making big money due to COVID, people are home recording and playing music, sales are very high. GC just can't seem to get it right.

I don't think it will be the end, they will simply re-structure their debt and close some bad performing stores and continue on. I'm sure Musician's Friend is the money maker for them and will continue to be. I would love for some mid-sized stores to start to pick up the slack but honest MI stores are extinct. the only ones i every see around doing well are selling vintage stuff to collectors. There are 2 such stores in my area, the rest are Sam Ash or GC and are dying a death.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by kslight » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:40 pm

While people may be buying toys / pedals / instruments, I expect a lot of live and some studio related equipment sales are way down.

Honestly I’d rather have a music go round in town than guitar centers...plenty of music gear to sell or trade off but dealing with Craigslist wears me out.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:56 am

kslight wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:40 pm
While people may be buying toys / pedals / instruments, I expect a lot of live and some studio related equipment sales are way down.

Honestly I’d rather have a music go round in town than guitar centers...plenty of music gear to sell or trade off but dealing with Craigslist wears me out.
no one is buying live sound from GC. i worked for a Music Manufactuer and all the Live Sound stuff was sold directly to contractors who installed/serviced the gear. they bought directly from manufacturer and were setup as a "dealer" due to the discount pricing giving them a couple of points profit when they would spec it at retail cost in the bid. the largest market was church installs, and let me tell you, those contractors LOVED house of worship gigs. tons of money and steady work for them.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:11 am

except for sometimes finding some deals on used equipment, my experience with the 3 GC's in Austin (and honestly there are even more within a 50 mile radius...) is that they have most recently catered to "toys" and beginner instruments that used to be found in the Sears catalog. I used to shop MF a lot for the basics (sticks, heads, cables, strings. etc.) because it was no tax and would be at my door in a couple days. Now everyone charges tax so it evened the playing field. I would rarely go to a GC store unless I needed something that day (but it was unlikely they had what I needed anyway). many of the local shops were already gone. Too bad they already drove so many small, local stores out of business... but they were not the only ones doing it. all of the online sales (including to their own stores), Walmart, and Amazon, etc. helped. Maybe a few more local, specialty stores will re-appear, but probably not any time soon.

there have been rumors about GC going bankrupt for at least 10 years. Now that it happened, it will be interesting to see how GC comes out of this and how many stores do close. will they combine the online subsidiaries?
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by kslight » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:56 am

digitaldrummer wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:11 am
except for sometimes finding some deals on used equipment, my experience with the 3 GC's in Austin (and honestly there are even more within a 50 mile radius...) is that they have most recently catered to "toys" and beginner instruments that used to be found in the Sears catalog. I used to shop MF a lot for the basics (sticks, heads, cables, strings. etc.) because it was no tax and would be at my door in a couple days. Now everyone charges tax so it evened the playing field. I would rarely go to a GC store unless I needed something that day (but it was unlikely they had what I needed anyway). many of the local shops were already gone. Too bad they already drove so many small, local stores out of business... but they were not the only ones doing it. all of the online sales (including to their own stores), Walmart, and Amazon, etc. helped. Maybe a few more local, specialty stores will re-appear, but probably not any time soon.

there have been rumors about GC going bankrupt for at least 10 years. Now that it happened, it will be interesting to see how GC comes out of this and how many stores do close. will they combine the online subsidiaries?
I agree, the only purpose of GC for me was if I needed something stupid like a cable that day, and other than that forget it. I live in KC so musicians friend was almost always a next day delivery so they are sometimes my go to.


Maybe they can share rent with RadioShack, blockbuster video, and toys r us stores, then close for October and turn into a spirit Halloween?

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:43 am

agreed with both of you, i would go for a must have same day, but also like you guys, it likely wasn't in stock or they don't carry it. i'd end up buying something that worked but wasn't what i wanted.

also agreed on the quality of gear. when i was in college they catered more to the midrange of gear. lots of american fenders and gibsons and then equal amounts of Squier level and High End level gear. now it's predominantly Squier level, few midrange (1 american fender bass in the whole store), and no truly high end gear. they've become walmart of gear.

as far as the bankruptcy, the one they are filing doesn't mean they liquidate and close. it's the one where you re-structure your debt to your creditors. they will close (sell? not sure if they own their buildings) their bad performing stores, and it will get their creditors off their back. they are managed by some investment firm i believe so this is pretty common for them.


in the end there is a need they provide, hopefully someone somewhere will begin to provide it. i rue the day when it's online only for gear.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by vvv » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:12 pm

When I was actively gigging and living in the city in the 80's-90's, GC was the go-to for necessities, and also a cool kill-time destination (one was right next to a huge Goth head-shop/clothing store called, The Alley; you could trade in gear and go next door for a new bong and some Doc's - I might even have done that, but can't confirm I remember). I have some great gear that I bought there, still use (Tele, Pro,Jr., a Gibson American, etc.)

But the staff sucked more and more in the suburban GC's, anyway, in the 00's and after, and yeah, the merch got worse. But they were still handy for basics like cables, strings that you need now, and I still like to shop the used stuff - never what I need, but can be cool.

BTW, I hope I don't offend, but "rue" is for something that already happened. (English major and current writer here- I can't help it.) Oh, and Poe's morgue ... :twisted:
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:07 pm

digitaldrummer wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:11 am
because it was no tax and would be at my door in a couple days. Now everyone charges tax so it evened the playing field.
I'm in no way affiliated, but I recently found out that front end audio still doesn't charge tax (they're in South Carolina, which seems to account for this). They're not too far from me, which is an added bonus.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:24 pm

I think they will downsize not only how many stores they have, but their size as well.

After that, who knows?
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:34 am

if they truly do go under, you have to imagine every studio owner in the country going to their closeout sales to stock up on necessities. if it becomes an Online only world, the next tapeop mag will be about what stock you should have in case stuff breaks during a session and you don't have the week to wait till the online order comes in.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:08 am

Meanwhile Jeff Bezos is probably loving this too... :-(
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:27 am

ITS OFFICIAL! today they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

i'll be watching closely. I remember when Mars Music when out of business in the late 90's and there were INSANE deals happening that i want to be a part of.

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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:44 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:27 am
ITS OFFICIAL! today they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
But... they also secured new funding under the restructuring agreement (and will pay off some debt owed), so they are not going out of business (yet). they may close a few stores. I don't expect any fire sales. only the same old back friday deals on import junk toy instruments.
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Re: Guitar Center finally in the cross-hairs?

Post by drumsound » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:52 am

This isn't the first time GC has gone through this. They are owned by Bain Capital, I believe. One of the shitty Bush related scumbags is a big part of that company, or maybe it was Romney? Those people know how to bleed a company dry, while still getting wealthier...

I was in the GC in Peoria about a month-6 weeks ago. It was one of the worst customer service situations I've ever been in. I looked sales people in the eye and they still didn't say a word to me. The used mic cabinet had a guy sitting 2 feet from me, behind it and didn't even glance at me as I looked at what was inside. I pretty much had a beg to dry a distortion pedal.

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