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Guitar Center layoffs

gmiller598

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In the USA, it’s usually possible to get an additional 10 to 15% discount for a $200+ ítem if you call the store. Or wait for the next big sales holiday, like the 4th of July coming up. There are often percentages off any item with a large total sale amount. You should talk to a salesperson to get a good sale price.
Very true. I was just pointing out that US made equipment is not cheaper in the UK than it is in the USA.
 

franke

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Here’s my .02 on the comments thus far:

Re: MAP. Introduced by instrument manufacturers to “level the playing field” between small independent shops and behemoths like GC and SA, MAP is “legal” insofar as it pertains to “rights granted to a licensee under license” (which is what authorized Fender or DW dealers are). MAP is no different than the stipulations requiring a yearly minimum order,. or those requiring a dealer to offer a "good-better-best" assortment.

Re: Housing prices. Those in the industry know the extent to which local development restrictions limiting construction and the entry of private investment firms in single family housing market have influenced prices. If I were a far-left reactionary (who, me?), I would say it was all part of a plot to transform the American middle class into renters instead of owners, but as a fair-minded and reasonable person I’d say this is what happens when a combination of local governments and “market forces” are free to effectively make national housing policy for no one’s benefit other than the investment class.

The recent rise in interest rates may lower the purchase price but not the real cost of home ownership. Private investment firms will pull out housing when and if rents start to fall (not likely, given demand), or when interests rates rise to a point where liquidity yields greater returns than ROI (more likely).

Re: GC. They’ve been going out business for nearly as long as your neighborhood mattress store. The pandemic saw a big increase in musical instrument sales (almost all of which was online), but music shops sustain themselves through repeat sales, something that “your guy” at your local GC or independent shop is in a better position to do than Amazon or perhaps Musician's Friend (though Sweetwater seems to have a good grasp of how to do this).

What typically drives foot traffic to any retail store is inventory followed by service and price, and in the musical instrument industry, those with inventory win. What has happened is that inventory in some product categories has become scarce due to factors like supply chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine, and rising energy costs. Moreover, the pandemic-led increase in sales didn’t necessarily improve the health of the industry. I recently spoke to a longtime DW employee who reported that a key raw material needed for chrome comes mainly from Ukraine, and although DW sold more kits last year than they had in many years previous, because of this and shortages in key components coming from Asian suppliers, DW made little in the way of profit.
 

bpaluzzi

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In the USA, it’s usually possible to get an additional 10 to 15% discount for a $200+ ítem if you call the store. Or wait for the next big sales holiday, like the 4th of July coming up. There are often percentages off any item with a large total sale amount. You should talk to a salesperson to get a good sale price.
You can get the same types of deals in the UK / EU.
 

TomC727

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Here’s my .02 on the comments thus far:

Re: MAP. Introduced by instrument manufacturers to “level the playing field” between small independent shops and behemoths like GC and SA, MAP is “legal” insofar as it pertains to “rights granted to a licensee under license” (which is what authorized Fender or DW dealers are). MAP is no different than the stipulations requiring a yearly minimum order,. or those requiring a dealer to offer a "good-better-best" assortment.

Re: Housing prices. Those in the industry know the extent to which local development restrictions limiting construction and the entry of private investment firms in single family housing market have influenced prices. If I were a far-left reactionary (who, me?), I would say it was all part of a plot to transform the American middle class into renters instead of owners, but as a fair-minded and reasonable person I’d say this is what happens when a combination of local governments and “market forces” are free to effectively make national housing policy for no one’s benefit other than the investment class.

The recent rise in interest rates may lower the purchase price but not the real cost of home ownership. Private investment firms will pull out housing when and if rents start to fall (not likely, given demand), or when interests rates rise to a point where liquidity yields greater returns than ROI (more likely).

Re: GC. They’ve been going out business for nearly as long as your neighborhood mattress store. The pandemic saw a big increase in musical instrument sales (almost all of which was online), but music shops sustain themselves through repeat sales, something that “your guy” at your local GC or independent shop is in a better position to do than Amazon or perhaps Musician's Friend (though Sweetwater seems to have a good grasp of how to do this).

What typically drives foot traffic to any retail store is inventory followed by service and price, and in the musical instrument industry, those with inventory win. What has happened is that inventory in some product categories has become scarce due to factors like supply chain disruptions, the war in Ukraine, and rising energy costs. Moreover, the pandemic-led increase in sales didn’t necessarily improve the health of the industry. I recently spoke to a longtime DW employee who reported that a key raw material needed for chrome comes mainly from Ukraine, and although DW sold more kits last year than they had in many years previous, because of this and shortages in key components coming from Asian suppliers, DW made little in the way of profit.
Rumor has it the chrome hardware on DW drum sets will be increasing in price 80-90% because of supply chain issues coming out of Taiwan. Such a bad increase in cost that DW may possibly try to manufacture this hardware in the U.S.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Rumor has it the chrome hardware on DW drum sets will be increasing in price 80-90% because of supply chain issues coming out of Taiwan. Such a bad increase in cost that DW may possibly try to manufacture this hardware in the U.S.

Something similar happened before when energy prices were through the roof the last time around. Not this instance with this manufacturer, but about 15 years back, a company decided to manufacture items Stateside because of the price of shipping.
 

drummer5359

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This thread reminded me of a thread that I posted in last October.

Overall, GC has been mis-managed for a long time. There are some well managed locations, but there are too many locations like the one in the story below.

"Yesterday I was driving home after an animal rescue transport. I was driving through Harrisburg Pennsylvania, I was tired, and it started to rain. I'd been on the road since early in the morning, I needed a break. Normally I stop at Dale's when I'm in the area, but it was Sunday afternoon, that was not an option. I saw the Guitar Center sign and thought that would work.

When I came through the door there were four employees behind the front desk talking to one customer. I wasn't acknowledged. I walked back to the drum room, and it was pretty rough. When I entered there was a teen boy and two teen girls in the drum room. He asked me if I would get a hi hat stand off of a high shelf for him. (I was wearing a Gretsch shirt.) I said that I was also a customer, but there were a bunch of employees up front.

I looked around the room. There was a lot of wall stock laying on the floor, not yet hung on the wall. There was a set of brand new sticks on each of the kits that were set up, the wrappers were discarded on the floor with other litter. (There was not a container with tryout sticks on the counter.)

The place was dusty, it looked like a manager had not walked through the department in weeks.

There was a LP tambourine that I was interested in just out of reach on one of the mostly empty walls. I used a drum stick to knock it down and I caught it.

I walked to the front of the store. The same employees were hanging out behind the counter talking to the same customer. My impression is that that "customer" was a former (or maybe current) employee, just hanging out.

A young lady pulled herself away from the riveting conversation about Saturday night's party and rung me up for the tambourine. The price came up ten dollars more than the price marked. "A lot of our prices are mismarked, sorry." I told her never mind. She pulled one of the guys over to cancel my sale. No one at the counter did anything to save the sale. I mentioned that there was a customer in the drum department that was looking for help. She said okay, turned her back on me and returned to the conversation with the other employees.

This was not an important purchase to me. (Or to them.) Overall my impression was that no one in this location had any interest in doing any business. I'm confident that this location is losing money, it sure was while I was there."

They didn't need to have four people on duty at the time, particularly if none of them intended to actually work. Identifying issues like this and solving them would be more constructive than cutting personnel across all locations. Guitar Center is doing it's best to fail.
 
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WesChilton

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Just a couple of quick examples between the two largest music stores in the world... Thomann and Sweetwater

And to be fair, this has actually improved in the last few months, when I was looking back in April the prices over there were even lower... but these are all American made products selling in US dollars at both stores. Its also easy to find comparably priced items and even some items that do cost more over there than here.


vs

Almost $800 more in the US than in Germany

vs

$600 more expensive in the US

vs

$500 more expensive in the US

vs

$100 more in the US

vs

$50 more in the US


And its way worse if you want something like Marshall, and yes I know its not US made, but WHY these huge price differences? It wasnt like this 10 years ago, prices were virtually identical in US dollars because Marshall has a HUGE presence in the US.

vs

That is a completely insane $2,050 difference! WHY?
 

Tornado

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Just another data point, I just bought a brand new Yamaha trumpet from a music shop with a real storefront in The Netherlands for a lot less than you can here in the States. I don't know why.
 

swarfrat

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I rarely believe prices on stuff not in stock. If you try to order that head you'll probably be informed of a correction. They're actually higher (375) on a subwoofer I've been looking at (Alto TX212S) than sweetwater, but they do seem to have the TS312S in stock when nobody else in all of internet does.
 

Loud

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And its way worse if you want something like Marshall, and yes I know its not US made, but WHY these huge price differences? It wasnt like this 10 years ago, prices were virtually identical in US dollars because Marshall has a HUGE presence in the US.

vs
That is a completely insane $2,050 difference! WHY?
Marshall amp made in England helps with UK/EU pricing. I can’t order from thomannmusic for delivery into USA. Marshall doesn’t allow it.

A558764A-C5E2-4966-9425-E592C6444633.jpeg
 

Drum Mer

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Marshall amp made in England helps with UK/EU pricing. I can’t order from thomannmusic for delivery into USA. Marshall doesn’t allow it.

View attachment 570090
Also don’t forget inport/state taxes will be added upon receiving goods when ordering from Europe (Thomann).

I think taxes at Sweetwater are already included.

That makes up the difference very fast.
 

Loud

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Also don’t forget inport/state taxes will be added upon receiving goods when ordering from Europe (Thomann).

I think taxes at Sweetwater are already included.

That makes up the difference very fast.
FYI, state sales taxes are not included in the Sweetwater prices listed. They are added at checkout. The middle ground is about 7%. Some states have very low sales taxes and others are over 10%. Sweetwater includes shipping in their prices. There are no “import” taxes between states.
 

Drum Mer

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FYI, state sales taxes are not included in the Sweetwater prices listed. They are added at checkout. The middle ground is about 7%. Some states have very low sales taxes and others are over 10%. Sweetwater includes shipping in their prices. There are no “import” taxes between states.
I meant import taxes /import fees from Europe which are being taxed on any imported goods, but do change in height from state to state from what I learned.
 

Loud

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No I meant import taxes /import fees from Europe which are being taxed on any imported goods, but do change in height from state to state from what I learned.
Got it. Yes, there is an import duty plus fees for a broker to handle custom clearance. FedEx/UPS/DHL can handle brokerage for a fee.

Around 2010, Korg no longer was the distributor of Marshall amps. Marshall USA became the distributor. We are not allowed to buy from the UK directly. Maybe that is why for Marshall amps, the price jumped up so much. It’s not fair. :(
 

mkelley

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For the last 14 years I hear that GC is going under for good. Someone please shoot a dead horse .

It’s an old chestnut and if it finally happens someone can feel good about a rumor becoming really.
 

fun2drum

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It looks like they’re recruiting for nine open positions in their Asheville store, and you can verify that by looking at the career section of their website. My son applied for one of them a couple of months ago and never got a response. I know I’m his proud dad but he’s probably more qualified than 95% of their applicants. He’s got an excellent resume. It’s strange he’d get no response even after following up later in person to see if they even received the app.

The bigger picture is that I’ve got two university graduate kids in their twenties who‘ve struggled to get employers to even respond when they apply for advertised open positions. But then a month later you can see the exact same position advertised as open. I know of others who are going through this same thing, yet businesses in general are complaining about staff shortages and “can’t find help”. I don’t get it.
 

bigbonzo

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Where do you guys live? There is always someone working in the drum department where I live. The drum department is also well supplied.

From what I've read, some stores do better than others. Perhaps it depends upon general population and/or how many musicians are in the area.
 


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