Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Mr. Paul

Changes at the "new" Gibson

Recommended Posts

Burdening small shops with the choice between losing their Gibson dealership or pouring money they didn't have into stock they couldn't sell was an interesting rescue plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no it wasn't... the shop down the road always had a few Gibsons in stock.

 

Then, Gibson put thier strangle hold on the dealership requirements.. and this store had no choice but to bail. That left the ONLY places were the Guitar Centers, and at the time Mars Music, which for me, was over an hours travel time, and I've never been a fan of stores like this.

 

not a very "user friendly" way to keep business rolling for the stores where many guys LIKE ME shopped... It hurt the customers, hurt the local stores, and in the end hurt the company. I am hoping the "new regime" works to undo some of that damage, but the horse left the barn a long time ago.

May never repair THAT end of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand all the frustration but I will tell you all this. Henry was not the problem he was the solution. Yes he had inventory requirements. For any dealer who wanted to be a Gibson acoustic dealer only he had to commit to at least 7 acoustic guitars a year. When the dealers rebelled Henry offered financial solutions to the problem. They didn't have to get all the guitars shipped at once. They could schedule ship them.

 

If that wasn't good enough and believe me it wasn't he then went to several financial institutions and secured floor plan services to dealers. G.E. Capital offered 90 day free financing and after that they would roll over to paying interest on the unsold guitars. What does this mean? A dealer could get any number of guitars shipped and he wouldn't have to pay a penny on them for 90 days and after that all he had to pay was interest on the unsold guitars...… Then Henry offered to put the guitars on open account with Gibson for 60 days no interest...

 

Good grief that meant that the dealer could have the guitars for 5 months without having to pay a penny. Then after that the dealer would have to start paying interest on the outstanding balance. They were never forced to come up with large sums of money at once. Even after all that the dealers were screaming foul. So... Henry sent a letter to them saying if you buy the guitars at the right time the you won't be billed for them until the next billing period. That gave them about 20 days extra the could have them on their wall before the floor plan started the clock ticking. 5 months and another 20 days to have the guitars without having to lay out a penny of store cash.

 

I don't know for sure but I will say this. If I couldn't sell 7 Gibson acoustics in 5 months I wouldn't want to be a Gibson dealer. Remember this... The dealer could select the guitars he wanted and he could control when he got them shipped to him. He could schedule them for one every other month if he wanted and he could secure a floor plan and a roll over to open account.

 

Don't get me wrong here Martin and Fender and eventually Taylor were all offering similar financial options. What happened? The internet happened. There is a thread here that will prove what I'm saying. In the thread the guy said he had a friend that had a store and he didn't buy his stuff from his friend because he could get them cheaper on line. He wouldn't even buy Ernie Ball strings from his friend??? Some friend huh?

 

The problem was never Henry it was you.... The consumer. You wanted everything for free and nothing could stop the online shopping. Nothing. You guys wouldn't support your Mom & Pop or your friends and they went out of business and now you want to blame Henry. Ha....

 

The new Gibson guy has a very sad lesson to learn and he will learn it soon enough. There is nothing he can do. This isn't a pair of jeans he's dealing with. It's a consumer base that will not support a local dealer. The consumer base wants nothing but price and they will spend all day calling dealers to get the rock bottom price and sometimes it can only be a difference of $5.00. What the hell is the price of a friend? Is it $6.00 for Ernie Ball strings?

 

Henry didn't kill the Mom & Pops you did.... I would love anyone here to prove me wrong... Remember this I have the actual dealer buy in contracts to prove my case.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Gibson definitely needs to change how they deal with music stores. True, the days of "mom and pop" stores are pretty much gone, but you can't even find a decent selection of Gibsons at most GCs anymore. My local GC rarely has more than one new Gibson acoustic (plenty of electrics). They have 4-5 Martins and a couple dozen Taylors (along with a wall full of Roman togas). The Gibson logic is terribly flawed when it comes to making their acoustic guitars readily available to guys like me. Lots of guitar buying is kind of a spur-of-the-moment buy---you'd love to buy a bird or J200, but you can't find any to play and you've got a bunch of cash that is burning the proverbial hole-in-you-pocket so you buy another brand of guitar. Wake-up Gibson! You make super acoustic guitars. Let people get their hands on them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hogeye is right

 

There i said it !

 

But he is

 

Hogeye's thread is indeed enlightening.

 

That part of the story never got to the store's customers ears.. does make sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How come some struggling BUT remaining small, local shops still sell Taylors, Fenders, and Martins, but no Gibsons? Either Gibsons terms for the local dealers were unfavorable compared to the competition, or the guitars weren't seen as equally marketable and sellable at their respective price points. Surely, the laws of price in relation to supply and demand, apply both to Fenders and Gibsons alike?

 

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How come some struggling BUT remaining small, local shops still sell Taylors, Fenders, and Martins, but no Gibsons? Either Gibsons terms for the local dealers were unfavorable compared to the competition, or the guitars weren't seen as equally marketable and sellable at their respective price points. Surely, the laws of price in relation to supply and demand, apply both to Fenders and Gibsons alike?

 

Lars

 

 

many of the local shops are stocking the "import" models, verses the M-USA ones. At least that's what I see "round" here.. For Gibson, that would be the Epiphones you see hanging on the racks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How come some struggling BUT remaining small, local shops still sell Taylors, Fenders, and Martins, but no Gibsons? Either Gibsons terms for the local dealers were unfavorable compared to the competition, or the guitars weren't seen as equally marketable and sellable at their respective price points. Surely, the laws of price in relation to supply and demand, apply both to Fenders and Gibsons alike?

 

Lars

 

I have been at Taylor acoustic guitar workshops in a Mom and Pop store. The Taylor reps ridiculously blasted Gibson in their workshop presentations, At times to convince attendees Taylor’s was better than Gibsons with nutty stuff like Taylor necks were bolted on which made Taylor’s better guitars than Gibsons. If their workshop reps were telling guitar players such a crock, I can imagine the load of anti-Gibson nonsense their sales reps were telling Mom and Pop shop owners to scare them into stocking Taylor’s in their limited store spaces. I don’t say this lightly. I was at one Taylor guitar workshop in a Mom and Pop music store years back and Doyle Dykes was the Taylor workshop rep, and he came right out and told those in attendance that Taylor wants him to blast Gibson in his Taylor workshop presentation and he flat out refuses to do so because from his experience Gibson also makes great guitars. I noticed shortly after that, Doyle Dykes stopped being a Taylor rep. BTW, Doyle Dykes is a great guitarist.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Henry didn't kill the Mom & Pops....

No, he didn't, because many of the good ones are still there.

 

What he did specifically was drive them away in one swift dumping move as he went big-box and online in 2001 and into 2002. Whatever incentive programs he may have offered before that apparently went away with his newly crafted marketing model.

 

Remember that Guitar Center had not been a Gibson dealer for a number of years prior to Henry's full-on shift. In the spring of 2001, Gibsons began flooding into Guitar Centers. Shortly thereafter, a slew of dealers across the country ended their Gibson affiliations. One local dealer in my area with four stores had been with them for thirty years. My small but successful true mom & pop had to pull out. George Gruhn pulled out. This was a sweeping sea of change, and very few were left standing besides Guitar Center and a few major online retailers.

 

In the ensuing years, I've noticed a few dealers coming & going from the Gibson fold, but the ones who were forced out in the initial wave never returned. And a very healthy number of these shops are still there. Do you think they have spoken many good words about Gibson in the interim? If they could reach workable agreements with Martin, Taylor, & Fender, and continue to sell instruments for all these years, why not Gibson?

 

The new management has an opportunity to right some wrongs and build new relationships. I hope they are truly successful in this endeavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they could reach workable agreements with Martin, Taylor, & Fender, and continue to sell instruments for all these years, why not Gibson?

 

That's exactly the point I was trying to make above.

 

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been at Taylor acoustic guitar workshops in a Mom and Pop store. The Taylor reps ridiculously blasted Gibson in their workshop presentations, At times to convince attendees Taylor’s was better than Gibsons with nutty stuff like Taylor necks were bolted on which made Taylor’s better guitars than Gibsons. If their workshop reps were telling guitar players such a crock, I can imagine the load of anti-Gibson nonsense their sales reps were telling Mom and Pop shop owners to scare them into stocking Taylor’s in their limited store spaces. I don’t say this lightly. I was at one Taylor guitar workshop in a Mom and Pop music store years back and Doyle Dykes was the Taylor workshop rep, and he came right out and told those in attendance that Taylor wants him to blast Gibson in his Taylor workshop presentation and he flat out refuses to do so because from his experience Gibson also makes great guitars. I noticed shortly after that, Doyle Dykes stopped being a Taylor rep. BTW, Doyle Dykes is a great guitarist.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

I agree with Jeff.

 

I’ve seen this too.

 

I’ve only ever played 1 Taylor that I liked and It beats most of the V braced new models that I have had a chance to sample.

 

The Good thing about Gibson is they don’t need to put down other brands.I love the montana guitars and as long as I cam afford a Gibson they will alwaya be my first choice.

 

 

 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one accused Henry of "killing the mom and pops."

 

What he has been accused of is an inability to place guitars in stores that somehow figured out how to carry competing brands, leaving a legion of former Gibson dealers behind ... many complaining bitterly.

There is other evidence of Henry treating those that should have been allies like enemies ... jt comes to mind.

 

I like evidence of the new direction I've seen, that's all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been at Taylor acoustic guitar workshops in a Mom and Pop store. The Taylor reps ridiculously blasted Gibson in their workshop presentations, At times to convince attendees Taylor’s was better than Gibsons with nutty stuff like Taylor necks were bolted on which made Taylor’s better guitars than Gibsons. If their workshop reps were telling guitar players such a crock, I can imagine the load of anti-Gibson nonsense their sales reps were telling Mom and Pop shop owners to scare them into stocking Taylor’s in their limited store spaces. I don’t say this lightly. I was at one Taylor guitar workshop in a Mom and Pop music store years back and Doyle Dykes was the Taylor workshop rep, and he came right out and told those in attendance that Taylor wants him to blast Gibson in his Taylor workshop presentation and he flat out refuses to do so because from his experience Gibson also makes great guitars. I noticed shortly after that, Doyle Dykes stopped being a Taylor rep. BTW, Doyle Dykes is a great guitarist.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

had a discussion with a respected luthier about the Taylor method on attaching necks. he's opinion, which I do think is valuable, is Taylor does it "right" in regards to repairs and neck resets. food for thought..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taylor’s big sale point on necks was that luthiers found repairing Taylor necks much easier than Gibson necks because they were bolt on necks. But, I am a player of a guitar not a luthier and I am the one buying the guitar, not the luthier. And, how many guitars really ever need a bona fide neck reset, and I certainly can’t fathom that I should buy a guitar that makes a luthier who I don’t even know happy somewhere down the road in case a guitar I buy ever happens to need a bona fide neck reset. I perhaps more likely can fathom that I want to buy a guitar that hopefully I never have to take in to a repair person for such a major repair. I want a guitar that hopefully won’t need a future repair. But, Taylor does seem to know how to make buyers worry about a future neck reset. Is it not like buying a new SUV simply because the manufacturer claims that should the engine ever die on your new warranted vehicle, buy out vehicle because we’ve made it easy for our repair people to easily unscrew your engine. 😄

 

I prefer to simply take my guitar no matter the brand to a manufacturer’s authorizes warrantee luthier who has the skills to know how to reset a dove tail joint neck not some luthier who only knows how to unscrew some screws...when I really think about it.

 

I may add, however, that I’m in my 56 years of guitar playing and guitar owning and I’ve never had to have one of my guitars need a bona fide neck reset where the neck needed to be taken off and repositioned. Set ups, yes. A lower or higher saddle, yes. The closest I came was on my 1972 Gibson Norlin era guitar, the middle of the neck literally bent a bit and the Gibson authorized repairman put it into a neck heat pressing machine in his shop for a week that reshaped the neck to its original shape while the neck remained attached to the guitar. That was 29 years ago and it’s still fine. Not sure how unscrewing the neck would have reshaped the neck at the 5-7th fret. Maybe Taylor would have just switched necks on me, leaving me with a Frankenstein guitar. Whatever. All of my many other Gibson or Epis have not had anything similar nor, as mentioned, needed a neck reset by any definition.

 

I mean a case can be made that cheap 70’s imported Epiphones also had bolt on necks that make their neck resets easier than a Gibson’s if their 70s Epiphones ever needed a bona fide neck reset.

 

Just saying.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One element missing from the whole Mom and Pop music store discussion is the fact that many Mom and Pop music stores simply were not able to actually sell enough Gibsons to make it profitable for them to keep selling them at a reasonable cost. If they didn’t have the buyers, it isn’t necessarily their fault or Gibsons’. Maybe Gibson didn’t extend the olive branch as long as another manufacturer because they were smart enough to know the industry had changed and there was no malice. As mentioned earlier, a hometown music store ended up ticking off its customers by selling Taylors that their customers could’ve bought cheaper elsewhere and then returning them once they found out. Taylor didn’t help that store by stringing them along with their products.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taylor’s big sale point on necks was that luthiers found repairing Taylor necks much easier than Gibson necks because they were bolt on necks. But, I am a player of a guitar not a luthier and I am the one buying the guitar, not the luthier. And, how many guitars really ever need a bona fide neck reset, and I certainly can’t fathom that I should buy a guitar that makes a luthier who I don’t even know happy somewhere down the road in case a guitar I buy ever happens to need a bona fide neck reset. I perhaps more likely can fathom that I want to buy a guitar that hopefully I never have to take in to a repair person for such a major repair. I want a guitar that hopefully won’t need a future repair. But, Taylor does seem to know how to make buyers worry about a future neck reset. Is it not like buying a new SUV simply because the manufacturer claims that should the engine ever die on your new warranted vehicle, buy out vehicle because we’ve made it easy for our repair people to easily unscrew your engine. 😄

 

I prefer to simply take my guitar no matter the brand to a manufacturer’s authorizes warrantee luthier who has the skills to know how to reset a dove tail joint neck not some luthier who only knows how to unscrew some screws...when I really think about it.

 

I may add, however, that I’m in my 56 years of guitar playing and guitar owning and I’ve never had to have one of my guitars need a bona fide neck reset where the neck needed to be taken off and repositioned. Set ups, yes. A lower or higher saddle, yes. The closest I came was on my 1972 Gibson Norlin era guitar, the middle of the neck literally bent a bit and the Gibson authorized repairman put it into a neck heat pressing machine in his shop for a week that reshaped the neck to its original shape while the neck remained attached to the guitar. That was 29 years ago and it’s still fine. Not sure how unscrewing the neck would have reshaped the neck at the 5-7th fret. Maybe Taylor would have just switched necks on me, leaving me with a Frankenstein guitar. Whatever. All of my many other Gibson or Epis have not had anything similar nor, as mentioned, needed a neck reset by any definition.

 

I mean a case can be made that cheap 70’s imported Epiphones also had bolt on necks that make their neck resets easier than a Gibson’s if their 70s Epiphones ever needed a bona fide neck reset.

 

Just saying.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

hey.. relax Jeff, I'm not a luthier either, just an observation made from a guy I spoke with who knows way more about it, and seen more than I ever will.

 

you guys really need to turn down the flames when ppl discuss brands that don't have a "G" word on the headstock..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey.. relax Jeff, I'm not a luthier either, just an observation made from a guy I spoke with who knows way more about it, and seen more than I ever will.

 

you guys really need to turn down the flames when ppl discuss brands that don't have a "G" word on the headstock..

 

The thing is, these type of bolt on neck strong sales claims, made by Taylor to unknowing potential guitar buyers and to Mom and Pop music stores who repeated them to potential buyers...also played a role in buyers buying a Taylor over a Gibson and Mom and Pop music stores carrying Taylors and no longer Gibsons. So it’s not a matter of dialing it down, it’s a matter of adding the bolt on neck claims factor into the reasons we are discussing. No offense meant. A claim can likewise be made that Henry’s Gibson should have done more to expose and counter the superior bolt on neck nonsense that Taylor was repeatedly saying about how Taylors were better than Gibsons because of it, which did chip away at Gibsons’ business. Another genuine discussion factor.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some misunderstandings here that I will address. It was stated that 2001 Henry started his relationship with Guitar center. Well a brief look at the record will show that Henry was in pretty deep with a company called Mars Music. Most here won't even remember them. They were a big chain of 50 stores in about 20 states. Many thought Henry was a silent partner in the chain so it seemed reasonable he had a huge presence in the company. This was 1996

 

In early 2001 Mars was struggling to keep the business going. They had expanded too fast and were under capitalized. BY 2002 they had filed for bankruptcy and soon after went out of business. Many manufactures including Gibson had adjusted their production to keep these stores supplied with instruments. When the chain went out of business Guitar Center went courting and they made overtures to Gibson.

 

Left with a huge void in retail space the manufactures had to adjust their production to make up for the lack of retail space. Henry rather than slowing down production and laying off help opened dealings with Guitar Center. The unholy alliance seemed to be working to the benefit of both companies. One guy here in another post seems to think that Henry had gone over to the dark side and maybe he did but..... He had his own business to run and he had to keep his people working and if the small business owners weren't willing to carry his products G.C. was more that eager to get them. Henry dodged a huge bullet and he managed to keep his production going.

 

Let's not forget Sam Ash played a very big part in this fundamental change in the music business as well. As his Bobness said," The Times they are a changing". Sam Ash has 44 stores in 16 states. And the list goes on. As the talking heads say "Go big or go home". Henry found the public was more than willing to buy his instruments until a fundamental change in the industry changed everything. It wasn't quality control or Mom & POPs that got him Kids quit taking guitar lessons and asked for computers for Christmas. Henry tried to adapt but he invested in the wrong companies as they were hurt by the same problem. He should have gone to Silicon Valley.

 

Well that's the rest of the story the real reason for Henry going to the chains. That decision kept the company going for another 15 years before he declared bankruptcy.

 

If you want to know the whole story just ask and I will tell you how "The Times They Are A Changing" took out a great company.

 

The new owners will find this out soon enough and they will have to be a lot smarter than Henry to survive. I hope they do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time someone says ‘mom and pop’ store , it conjures up two sweet elderly people , sadly packing up their shop and locking the door , big bad large retailer laughing and blowing cigar smoke .... Victims ... not fair

 

You should refer to them as smaller retail stores because that doesn’t mask the fact that some of these shops that close are just idiots. And wouldn’t take any difference who’s brand they tried to sell

And ya know sometimes when people fail they tend to not say ‘oh my fault , I guess im just not a very good shop owner’

Nope they blame it on the internet, the big shop down the street , the weather and the boogie

Empty cans make the most noise

 

And a guitar manufacturers job is not to earn money for shop owners. That’s their job.

 

 

What’s the overseas percentage of gibson sales ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When the chain (Mars) went out of business Guitar Center went courting and they made overtures to Gibson.

 

if the small business owners weren't willing to carry his products G.C. was more that eager to get them.

Two points:

 

> Mars declared bankruptcy in Sept 2002, and closed their doors a month later. Henry had fully established his relationship with Guitar Center a year before that.

 

> There's only one reason that such a wide cross section of Gibson dealers felt compelled to end their affiliation with the brand at the same time - Henry radically altered stocking requirements to the point where it was not tenable for the dealers. This was a calculated choice made by Henry, and one which essentially dismantled his existing dealer network. He certainly was not forced to go this route - it was a fully informed decision, based on the big-box/online marketing vision he wanted to pursue.

 

Thankfully, the other major players did not follow Henry's lead, and retained their dealer networks while establishing a similar big-box/online footprint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every time someone says ‘mom and pop’ store , it conjures up two sweet elderly people , sadly packing up their shop and locking the door , big bad large retailer laughing and blowing cigar smoke .... Victims ... not fair

You should refer to them as smaller retail stores because that doesn’t mask the fact that some of these shops that close are just idiots.

Much of this discussion has been about the dealers who are not idiots - The ones who were around when Henry dismantled the existing Gibson dealer network, and are still around today and quite successful.

 

The smart move now would be to focus on rebuilding connections with these successful dealerships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember Mars Music Hogeye, There was one here in the Boston Metro-west area. I bought a few pieces of gear from them that I still use all the time. The store was ironically (well maybe not) across Rt 9 in Natick from Guitar Center.

 

Jeff, bolt on neck wrt Taylor.. In all the times I've discussed these various brands with store managers and sales people, I don't recall anyone saying anything about it. I knew, cuz I read specs not that I was told. I don't know if the average consumers would know/care/understand set neck verses bolt on. Most of the purchase power is in the low end to mid range price break for a vast majority of stores in the area I live in.

 

I would go a bit further to say; If a store in these towns I hang around in in Central Mass, stocked gibson's it's likely they would have a hard time selling enough to keep the agreements with Gibson in place. Not a lot of people are really in the market for a $4,000 acoustic in these parts. But they'll buy 250~500 dollar models, all day long.

 

On the other hand, I think the biggest issue really is the decline in peoples interest in learning to play. (which we've all read those articles. With people like Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, and their ilk, dominating the industry, I can kinda see why. no offense to those folks who like these performers, but personally I don't find any of that music even listenable never mind yearn to play/learn the songs.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this forum should add a Henry or Gibson-business category as this repeating sheet takes up a lot of "acoustic: real estate and just endlessly loops...

Edited by jvi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...