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Guitar Center in Europe?

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Alan Marshall

Apr 28, 2006, 5:21:15 AM4/28/06
According to the latest issue of MI Pro over here in the UK, it looks
as if the greatly liked and highly esteemed (ahem) Guitar Cener is
making plans to move into Europe.
Could this be the beginning of the end?

'If a retailer is parasiticto the business, if the only reason they're
in business is that they are the only store in town, they are already
in trouble.' (David Angress)

Or possibly the beginning of the end?

Your thoughts from over the pod please.

Alan Marshall

David Kilpatrick

Apr 28, 2006, 6:32:34 AM4/28/06

The pod. Hmmm. I went over the pod a while back, and did end up in a
Guitar Centre, and helped them out by pointing out that the bridge was
entirely ripped off the top of their Tacoma Papoose.

It was the only vaguely interesting thing in the store.

We already have Sound Control and Williams Music, who needs more?

GuitarGuitar in Edinburgh looks like it should be a really cr@ppy big
emporium, but actually, they have great staff, good stock, and know the


Ken Cashion

Apr 28, 2006, 7:09:56 AM4/28/06

Good for you, Alan! Successful businesses are built by satisfied
customers. If GC goes into the UK and does not offer what the
potential customers want, then you have nothing to worry about. They
will withdraw.

If, however, they satisfy a market, then this is the beginning of a
good start. I know that a fellow can zip around the Island pretty
quickly, but not cheaply, so lets hope GC has done their market
research really well and will be a big success.

The more successful they are, the sooner a second and third will
arrive. Guys (guitar players often) will get work. The decision is
in the hands of the customers...just like it should be.


Chris Rockcliffe

Apr 28, 2006, 7:18:34 AM4/28/06
Alan Marshall28/4/06 10:21 am

Well Alan, I've been *over the pod* for years, :-) so here goes...

I've never been to a GC although I can imagine what they are like. Outside
of London and also the major shops of a couple of other big cities, lie
perhaps a a dozen great music shops of vision scattered around - run by
characters who know what they are doing.

The rest are general music shops of variable quality, chock full of
keyboards, synths and full size pianos and drum kits, low end guitars, sheet
music and learn to play guitar books etc. What many of these do lack outside
of Strat copies and low end Korean and Chinese built acoustics, are a decent
selection of mid priced acoustics.

We had a music shop open up a few years ago here in Buxton and it was doing
very well and building. (As you may remember, Gary Booth was involved in
the guitar and teaching side). I do remember him remarking that if customers
came in looking for a bespoke guitar, that he would recommend a bespoke
maker. I think a lot of people want to play and buy. It is later on
perhaps that they might go to a luthier for something better.

The owners did get some more expensive Lowdens and Fyldes in and they all
sold at near full price whilst he also sold shedloads of cheaper guitars.
The business was doing well and growing, but failed for other silly reasons
I won't go into.

What interested me was that there was a market for a music shop with
instrument sales, music lessons - and that the shop became a focal point for
the promotion of music in the town. That shop closed (due to local Planning
problems) and the guy gave it up. The shop also had to break ins with stuff

Sadly, it has left a void here with the nearest good music shop at least 10
miles away. I think stores specialising in guitar sales is a good thing. I
think it increases interest in guitars and ultimately pushes sales in
quality guitars and bespoke makers. Guitar shops would grow the market for
acoustic guitars which is smaller than in the USA.

The fact that it may be run by people who no little about anything, is
besides the point. I've often thought that there was value in - and money
to be made too - in a good *How to sell guitars* training course.

Buxton is too small for a GC, but it does need a good music shop.


Apr 28, 2006, 8:37:43 AM4/28/06

Alan Marshall wrote:
> According to the latest issue of MI Pro over here in the UK, it looks
> as if the greatly liked and highly esteemed (ahem) Guitar Cener is
> making plans to move into Europe.
> Could this be the beginning of the end?

The evil empire is extending its reach to the UK? We need Skywalker
before "Squires" rule the world.

Steven Bornfeld

Apr 28, 2006, 10:17:05 AM4/28/06

Two words:
Euro Disney.


Chris Rockcliffe

Apr 28, 2006, 12:42:09 PM4/28/06
guitar...@yahoo.com28/4/06 1:37 pm

Hate to tell you - you're too late... and talking of Queer Strats

I've been invited again to go to an open mic session - a plugged in affair
with bass and drummer etc, where I can play a borrowed Strat copy or similar
and play some stuff and jam.

I'm trying to pluck up courage as I really haven't played an electric guitar
for many years and my fingers are fatter than they used to be (well yes,
they do match the rest of me thankyou for pointing that out Fiona).

Pete Gay will probably be a bit jealous (did I say I was going yet? ) and as
Pete went away with my old Hofner Galaxy last time he was up here, I don't
even have solid body *slab* to hold and get used to. (Are you going to
breathe some life into that Pete? So if I do go - I said IF - it's going to
be a baptism of fire ( like to get religion into the post somewhere).

Should I, or shouldn't I... Hmmm



Apr 29, 2006, 4:39:54 AM4/29/06

The Hofner is, infact today's project. Gotta go and buy some strings
(from Sound Control, an operation not unlike GC, which in the space of
a year put one of the most helpful, knowlegeable and best established
retailers in Bristol).


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