The guitar shop on it's way back?

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Mimasu
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The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Mimasu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:52 pm

Hollidays, so I spent a few days in Amsterdam. Always good to be there. Great city, could even be greater if it wasn't for all these thousands foreign tourists 8). I Always wonder who's in Japan building Yamaha's course they're all here in Amsterdam :? .

I always do my day of guitar shops. Let's say I visit about half a dozen. The past years you could see the shops become worse. Less inventory, less high end guitars etc. Seems they were loosing it from the big internet shops.

But after this years visit I got some hope. It seems to go better. It looks that they understand that if guitarists want to spend serious money on a guitar they want to have it in their hands.

The old shops are slowly getting better again and we've got new shops opening in the big cities, mostly little but exclusive shops that belong to the big internet sellers.

How about the rest of the world? Any hope out there too?

Leon
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Re: The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Saul » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:12 pm

Here in the UK things are pretty good. Guitar stores have generally upped their game and we are seeing improvements in customer service as well as a wider range of brands being stocked.

Having said that, a store just down the road from me that has been there for the past 30 years is now closing down but, it's important to note that they were very much stuck in the past. Going in there was like walking back in time and customers are just not going to gravitate to such stores. Their online presence was really looking it's age and they rarely updated their social media accounts.

Oh one interesting development I heard about last night was that three of the big names here have formed a buying group called 'GAP' so that's GAK, Andertons and PMT. They are currently buying up all the G&L and Alvarez stock in the UK. Ok not exactly guitars people are falling over themselves to buy but it does have implications for the smaller stores. I personally think this is a very bad idea as far as the customer goes but time will tell.
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Re: The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Floydman » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:20 am

Here in the U.S. the brick and mortar stores are dropping like flies. It's seems most Americans want to buy everything online. The only thing keeping some stores afloat is selling used gear. There is no way I'd buy a high end guitar sight unseen. Most online shops have return policies, but it still seems like a huge gamble. I will buy my used Yamahas online. No real gamble though, most what I purchase need work and are usually under 100 USD.
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Re: The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:49 am

It's an incredibly difficult thing to get right these days. The overheads involved in running a bricks and mortar store are huge and then having to compete with the online world makes it hard to stay in profit and provide a service.

Andertons and GAK have I think gone down the right path as far as sustainability for the business is concerned. They both have one b&m store but their online presence is massive, especially for Andertons who have really mastered the art of online selling combined with great in-store service.

That is the key to surviving in todays market place. Build a reputation for quality and reliability through one main store and make sure your online presence is top notch. Offer a great returns service and make sure you only use quality couriers for delivery.
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Re: The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Mimasu » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:05 pm

What you tell about Andertons and GAK looks like what's happeing in Germany. One big b&m store and a huge online selling store. The Dutch (and Belgian) system seems to differ. The big online stores have a lot of smaller b&m shops covering the land. If they don't have a guitar you want to see in stock, come back in two days and they have it for you. That's something you would expect in the bigger countries like the UK or Germany, not in the little Netherlands. Weird but I'm ok with it.

Further overhere there still are the stores stocking exclusive high end guitars.

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Re: The guitar shop on it's way back?

Unread post by Saul » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:23 pm

Well I think I know which large store you are talking about Leon. They seem to be dominating the market over there on the European mainland at the moment...or at least trying to.

Not come across any dealers here in the UK willing to get a guitar in for you to try. Most are working to extremely tight margins so if they get a guitar in they need to be sure they are going to stand a good chance of selling it. Also they are wary of people coming into the b&m stores to try a guitar and then ordering it cheaper online.

I'm in a very lucky position that I get to try a lot of guitars sometimes for months, without needing to buy them and if I did want to buy I can get artist rate discount so it's a win/win for me. In fact I am considering buying two guitars I have on loan at the moment. Sometimes it's hard to part with them :(

But yes in general it seems you have a better market there in the Netherlands than we have here in the UK.
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