PSA - Guitar Center / Sam Ash , Paramus N.J. What's going on ?????

emitex

Synchromatic
Aug 21, 2014
907
NYC
Makes me think of music row on 48th Street in Manhattan between 6th & 7th Ave. I bought ALL my guitars there (except maybe one or two at Matt Umanov's on Bleecker St. in Greenwich Village) and bringing them home via the Subway. It was always a treat as a teen and adult to make usual visits there to Manny's, Sam Ash, We Buy, Rudy's, etc. to see and try all those instruments. Now they're ALL gone. Not around to pass on the joy to a younger generation.
 

AZBrahma

Synchromatic
Dec 18, 2020
748
Arizona
Here's part of the scoop with GC in particular (but pertains to other big retailers as well). They count on mfgs to extend them huge amounts of credit to get product on the floor. That credit is then repaid by the sales of the floor inventory, GC then orders more on credit, and the cycle repeats itself. During the pandemic, floor inventory sold out with mfgs eventually having an inability to provide GC with sufficient inventory on credit. So companies like GC and Sam Ash had their revenue streams surge and then slashed, and no ability to recover them while product availability was low. On the other side, mfgs had orders but not enough stock to fill them, so their books did exactly the same thing - swell with cash at the beginning of the pandemic when they could easily sell out their massive stock, but then had to use all that as working capital to get through a time when their revenue stream was drying up because they had no extended credit to retailers being paid back - there was no credit (product stock) to extend.

Then, inventories came back, credit extension and the mfg revenue streams came back...but when a loaf of bread is ten bucks, no one is going to continue buying guitars. Look at the historic price increases in the industry - a G6228 two years ago was $2200, now it is $2700. Now the US has the worst manufacturing outlook since 1979 (which affects almost everything, not just domestic manufacturing), 40 year high inflation/stagflation and markers of a possible recession. Retailers that peddle almost exclusively discretionary or plaything items of relatively high cost are going to be destroyed, plain and simple. They are going to have to sell about a zillion Squires to get through this one, especially with GC constantly teetering on the edge of insolvency.
 

twangmanster

Gretschie
Dec 29, 2021
213
Long Island
Interesting, I get an email today from Sammy, asking to buy or trade in (in that order) my old and any major brands I don't want. I have two Sammys, and four GC's I can drive to with no problem. I don't need to go to any of them, I really don't. And its not like I know they all have gear and prices not on their local web sites. I really don't need to go. Must buy food, not gear.
 

twangmanster

Gretschie
Dec 29, 2021
213
Long Island
I don't know how it is Sam can stay in business anyway. The ones I've been in only seem to sell stuff that record stores used to sell, Those same type of cheap plastic guitars that only sold at Christmas time. One by me, has had the same snakskin covered blues junior for two years now. You can't even look at that tolled without getting a head ache. Their web site are useless.
 

CBHScott

Gretschie
Feb 13, 2015
125
Central OH
Amid all of the incessant stories over the years of GC circling the drain, Sam Ash is the retailer who actually has been doing so. Even before the pandemic, their stores seemed to have not been replenishing their stock, and when the pandemic eased, and other stores and chains were getting inventory back in, Sam Ash was still bare (except if you wanted a Michael Kelly - they had those in spades).

I have been thinking for at least 3 years that SA would be closing stores. Maybe they’ll stick with one flagship and an online presence - except their website is the drizzling .
 

Highroller

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 11, 2015
2,217
Portland, OR
Same thing here in Richmond, VA....

Broad St (the main primary road through the city & suburbs). GC and Sam Ash literally right next to each other in adjacent parking lots.

GC: Still going. 4-5 guys in there, one always behind the counter at all times. Others are scattered around... keys, drums, guitars, etc... trying to help make a sale.

Sam Ash: Vacant. No lights, no cars in the parking lot. ...nothing!

Ha! Thanks for the update. I know exactly the stores you're talking about, and I've always wondered which one would fail first. West end Richmond's not exactly "music row" if you know what I mean.

That they managed to last that way - right next to each other, for something close to 20 years - actually surprises me!

That's not a bad run for either one, considering the nature of retail. It's always been a tough way to make a buck, never more so than now.

Sorry to hear you've got one less place to shop, but everybody's seeing that everywhere. We've lost a bunch of places in Portland the last few years, and I don't know how some of the ones left manage to keep their doors open.

Strange times we live in ...
 

Lou Coppolino

Country Gent
Jul 23, 2022
1,474
Howell, NJ
These difficult days show that money is needed for essential needs.

I would go into a guitar store, these days, and have a leash on my wallet.

Impulse buying is a thing of the past.

I want a Gretsch White Penguin and my wife tells me that I must subtract if I intend to add.

I'm not hurting but find myself short $ wise weekly.

I can't splurge on myself.

I, like everyone else, needs to keep the lights on.

I, like many, need to be accountable for life sustaining things and be happy with what I have.

I wonder how these big box music store employees make ends meet.

They can't be making a sustainable dollar.

My godchild, in Abysmal Dawn, went on tour of North America, for what seems like 2 months, and made $500.00.

Was it worth it?

My gigs have slowed down.

I used to expect $175.00 for 2 hours work playing every weekend.

My $200.00 solo gig is gone.

My hired gun status is nil due to health reasons.

My daily gig, is my life blood.

I'm addicted to the dollars.

It seems that I'm going to work til I die.

Sound familiar?
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,739
Tucson
These difficult days show that money is needed for essential needs.

I would go into a guitar store, these days, and have a leash on my wallet.

Impulse buying is a thing of the past.

I want a Gretsch White Penguin and my wife tells me that I must subtract if I intend to add.

I'm not hurting but find myself short $ wise weekly.

I can't splurge on myself.

I, like everyone else, needs to keep the lights on.

I, like many, need to be accountable for life sustaining things and be happy with what I have.

I wonder how these big box music store employees make ends meet.

They can't be making a sustainable dollar.

My godchild, in Abysmal Dawn, went on tour of North America, for what seems like 2 months, and made $500.00.

Christ, was it worth it?

My gigs have slowed down.

I used to expect $175.00 for 2 hours work playing every weekend.

My $200.00 solo gig is gone.

My hired gun status is nil due to health reasons.

My daily gig, even though my boss is a dick, is my life blood.

I'm addicted to the dollars.

It seems that I'm going to work til I die.

Sound familiar?
I’m fortunate to have a good job, and the working conditions are good. I’m thankful for this. My modest retirement savings, which are invested diversely, have taken a hit. Somehow, both ends of the seesaw are headed downward, at the same time.

It reminds me of an old joke, from the ‘70s. A man awakens from a coma and when he realizes that he has been unconscious for years, his first thought is to check his portfolio. He bums a coin off of the nurse and calls his broker from the payphone in the hall. His broker informs him that his portfolio is currently worth five million dollars and he sffuses his joy to his broker until an electronic voice interrupts the call to say; “your three minutes are up, please deposit another five million dollars”.

As far as guitars are concerned, I’m equipped for the rest of my days, so there is no immediate problem, on that front. It wouldn’t surprise me if the used market becomes somewhat flooded, due to people thinning their herds.

I have thought about publishing a subscription based, investment newsletter. The plan is simple: I publish every investment I make and the subscribers do the opposite. By all logic, they should prosper, because whenever I invest, I tend to lose. :)
 

juks

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2020
3,302
Fremont, California

Bertotti

Gretschified
Jul 20, 2017
10,198
South Dakota
I’m fortunate to have a good job, and the working conditions are good. I’m thankful for this. My modest retirement savings, which are invested diversely, have taken a hit. Somehow, both ends of the seesaw are headed downward, at the same time.

It reminds me of an old joke, from the ‘70s. A man awakens from a coma and when he realizes that he has been unconscious for years, his first thought is to check his portfolio. He bums a coin off of the nurse and calls his broker from the payphone in the hall. His broker informs him that his portfolio is currently worth five million dollars and he sffuses his joy to his broker until an electronic voice interrupts the call to say; “your three minutes are up, please deposit another five million dollars”.

As far as guitars are concerned, I’m equipped for the rest of my days, so there is no immediate problem, on that front. It wouldn’t surprise me if the used market becomes somewhat flooded, due to people thinning their herds.

I have thought about publishing a subscription based, investment newsletter. The plan is simple: I publish every investment I make and the subscribers do the opposite. By all logic, they should prosper, because whenever I invest, I tend to lose. :)
OMG, I have been watching my 401k more than normal, down 40%! I lost everything when the housing market took the hit not in the too around 2007-2008, now this! I was literally in a position to retire now until the 2000’s hit then it was starting over again now it looks the same. If I can retire at 70 I’ll be lucky. I absolutely plan to buy a couple more instruments over the next 12-13 years. Just need to figure out who or what to rob first!
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,739
Tucson
OMG, I have been watching my 401k more than normal, down 40%! I lost everything when the housing market took the hit not in the too around 2007-2008, now this! I was literally in a position to retire now until the 2000’s hit then it was starting over again now it looks the same. If I can retire at 70 I’ll be lucky. I absolutely plan to buy a couple more instruments over the next 12-13 years. Just need to figure out who or what to rob first!
I just plotted it out. I plan on retiring 2-3 years after I die. :)
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,760
Massachusetts
OMG, I have been watching my 401k more than normal, down 40%! I lost everything when the housing market took the hit not in the too around 2007-2008, now this! I was literally in a position to retire now until the 2000’s hit then it was starting over again now it looks the same. If I can retire at 70 I’ll be lucky. I absolutely plan to buy a couple more instruments over the next 12-13 years. Just need to figure out who or what to rob first!
#1 Don't look at it, think long term

#2 Look at graphs of what the market has done over decades.
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,760
Massachusetts
I have thought about publishing a subscription based, investment newsletter. The plan is simple: I publish every investment I make and the subscribers do the opposite. By all logic, they should prosper, because whenever I invest, I tend to lose. :)
The old NPR "Car Talk" guts, Click and Clack, used to promote their 50% return investment fund. You give them your money, they give you back 50%..
bah-dah-boom
 


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