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Why are brick and mortar stores closing- see post

Steven K

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Mar 28, 2022
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104
regarding brick and mortar stores- "50% sales are online making the survival of brick and mortar stores close to impossible"


 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
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901
I don't particularly appreciate going to brick-and-mortar stores because many people usually play and aren't buying. I don't play anything unless I'm serious about buying it that day.

Also, I don't like talking about what other guitars I own or things like that and I don't like bargaining. I would rather go online. I do like guitar shows despite the noise because there's usually good deals on things that are harder to find. I don't like the noise, though.
 

Steven K

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Mar 28, 2022
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104
I always bargain. Why spend more than I must? Saved money buys more gear. I play because I am always ready to buy a good guitar, and sometimes we never know if what we do not try, will be the one we missed out on
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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5,702
Despite having to wade thru the pure influencers and other hype cycles, there's better information more easily gleaned from, say, 3 decent articles, then dealing with the attitudes and caliber of customer-service at most brick and mortars.

If you find those 'diamonds', who are very knowledgable and can really advise, in a brick-and-mortar, you are lucky and should patronize them.

However, those type of long-standing Mom & Pop Shops or established shops are fewer and far between, and harder to get to, and tend to be actually oversubscribed while the rest have withered [typical of the chains]. Or the skilled guys are under siege and shifting in their careers. Be Careful Out There and It's Hard. And not just in the music merchant industry.

That's why Sweetwater [prior to their recent change of ownership] had an adroit model: they scaled knowledge despite location and optimize logistics. Savvy dealers also went online, like Forum Dealers e.g. CME, Wildwood. Willcutt, HoG, TMZ, etc.

If you can cultivate a trust relationship for the 'high touch' unique and generally high priced items like a Murphy Lab, well OK. Maybe you can get close enough to a boutique amp to try... probably not.

For everything else, it's a hassle when there's no value-added in the brick-n-mortar, except for grab-n-go / drive-by / sale items. Otherwise, get smart yourself, go online, and exploit terms of shipping, trail period, and return.
 

Steven K

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Mar 28, 2022
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104
Exactly JB. these sales people are not at the stores to be your friend, they are there to earn a commission, and I am out to get the best deal I can. I always do extensive research, and price comparisons, and then lowball. I get the best gear at the lowest price. Sales people at these stores I have done business with, in the past have sold me the item at their cost. Assuming they wish to clear the item out, better than cost. Yet those stores are long gone.
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
Messages
901
100%. The Mom & Pop stores are often romanticized, but in my experience, many are just good at making customers feel good. At the end of the day they're in business to make profits, not friends.

I don't have a problem with that because they must stay in business. There is one store near me that I buy maybe two or three guitars/amps a year from. I bought an early 70s LPC, Portaflex, and Hummingbird from them in the past few years. Usually, I go in and look around and ask to pick something up, then buy it. With the LPC, I bought it without plugging it in because a looky-loo was playing way too loud, and I didn't feel like waiting around. Plus, the guitar felt good, so I was pretty sure it would sound ok.

The people who work there are nice enough and the owner knows who I am, but I don't hang out and socialize in there. I'll stop in every few months to look around.

Having worked in an old guitar store in the 1990s, whose inventory would be worth a fortune today, I've been on both sides of the counter. Generally, the people who come in and play and play and play and tell you about everything they own don't buy anything.

I try not to waste anyone's time, even at GC.
 

Steven K

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Mar 28, 2022
Messages
104
Agreed,

I have managed music stores during my youth, and sales people I am friends with do their absolute best to give me a deal, I will not haggle with friends and bandmates in the business simply because they are more loyal to me, then the business
 

MarcB

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Sep 1, 2023
Messages
1,049
I set up and ran a small guitar dept (inside a piano store) in my 20s.. I wasn’t on commission, so I’d always give my honest opinion on guitars and equipment.. as so many youngsters would come in with the expectation of buying a top end guitar would make them play better...(there is some truth to this) I would always point them towards using what they’ve got and to practice more.. (and their mothers would always thank me after) I’d even ask them to bring their guitars in to check them over..and even if it was a bag of poo I’d talk the guitar up and make them proud to own it.. basically trying to install the notion of being a “player”.
.. a few times that youngster came back in a year later a better player.. then I’d fleece them of all their pocket money. lol.

My point is .. brick and mortar stores have a purpose outside of sales. They provide a glimpse into the world of rock n roll and guitars.

Remember when you played your first Gibson or Fender in a store.. with the owner knowing full well you couldn’t afford it.. 😉

We’d miss all the stores and when they’re gone.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,702
I set up and ran a small guitar dept (inside a piano store) in my 20s.. I wasn’t on commission, so I’d always give my honest opinion on guitars and equipment.. as so many youngsters would come in with the expectation of buying a top end guitar would make them play better...(there is some truth to this) I would always point them towards using what they’ve got and to practice more.. (and their mothers would always thank me after) I’d even ask them to bring their guitars in to check them over..and even if it was a bag of poo I’d talk the guitar up and make them proud to own it.. basically trying to install the notion of being a “player”.
.. a few times that youngster came back in a year later a better player.. then I’d fleece them of all their pocket money. lol.

My point is .. brick and mortar stores have a purpose outside of sales. They provide a glimpse into the world of rock n roll and guitars.

Remember when you played your first Gibson or Fender in a store.. with the owner knowing full well you couldn’t afford it.. 😉

We’d miss all the stores and when they’re gone.

Yes; of course this was all a function of knowledgable, informed and wisened people employed in the stores. If the stores no longer provide a residency for those folks or employ that function, then everything changes [I contend it's mostly gone apart from a few bright spots]. As the thesis of the book explained, their cheese moved. Sad to see it go that way, but it has.
 

Steven K

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Mar 28, 2022
Messages
104
I managed a piano store called clavier music. We had some G&L guitars, at the time the brand was new and not costly. Point is. they never sold at $300 and $400 dollars, before the advent of large mail order chains. the only stores that could deal with Gibson and Fenders buying requirements were the larger chains such as Ash or Manny's in NYC, or wealthy large stores. In suburban areas the one store owned by a struggling owner who made the largest revenue renting out instruments to students and selling Baldwin and perhaps if lucky a Steinway could not carry Gibsons or Fenders in my areas.
 

latestarter

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Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,192
Times are changing. You can combine online and b n m if you’re smart.

Sidebar, I have a lot muso’s young and old swing by the play guitars they would be unlikely able to buy (and I know some of you do the same). They bring their own and often we agree that a guitar doesn’t need to be old or expensive to be awesome. Like those b n m shops that helped us way back, maybe, with some care and diligence, we could be doing the same in this new environment?
 

Steven K

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Joined
Mar 28, 2022
Messages
104
There are no existing brick and mortar stores in close proximity to me that carry electric guitars, just cheap acoustics. They mainly rent band instruments and are barely what I would consider music shops. They carry some sheet music.

The B&M stores in my area closed years ago
 

ourmaninthenorth

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Mar 28, 2009
Messages
7,147
Times are changing. You can combine online and b n m if you’re smart.

Sidebar, I have a lot muso’s young and old swing by the play guitars they would be unlikely able to buy (and I know some of you do the same). They bring their own and often we agree that a guitar doesn’t need to be old or expensive to be awesome. Like those b n m shops that helped us way back, maybe, with some care and diligence, we could be doing the same in this new environment?
Dig.
 

Dave P

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Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
1,011
I need to try guitars before I buy. I'll buy pedals and other things online, but it's too much of a crapshoot to buy a guitar online.
 

Cody

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Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
4,497
When trying guitars out in a store, I have on occasion found that the good looking one that I thought I came in for really isn't all that great... and conversely, the three legged dog that I wouldn't have ever given a shot from an online store turns out to kick all kinds of ass.

I miss the days when I could hang out at music stores, and learn firsthand which guitars, vintage and new, were up my alley, and which weren't.
 
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