Last week it was announced that the iconic guitar brand Gibson was facing potential bankruptcy, with the Nashville Times reporting that the company could be “running out of time”.
The Industry Observer reported last week that CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said the company would “eliminating product segments that do not perform to our expectations”.
Now, in a recent feature published by Billboard, the CEO and majority shareholder went into detail about what he believes has influenced the brand’s slow demise, saying that guitar stores and music retailers should take their fair share of the blame.
When pondering on the slow decline of the music sector of the retail industry, he highlighted that there are obvious problems, saying, “all of the retailers are fearful as can be, they’re all afraid of e-commerce. With Amazon just becoming the second largest employer in the US, the brick and mortar guys are just panicking.”
He added that stores have already developed the mindset that there may not be a place for them in the future.
“They see the trend, and that trend isn’t taking them to a good place, and they’re all wondering if there will be a world for brick and mortar stores for much longer. It’s a turbulent world to be a retailer, and many of our retail partners are facing that same issue.”
He also pointed out that the guitar industry still hasn’t recovered from 2008’s stock market crash and highlighted that the industry does little to include women and families.
“Women, by and large, aren’t comfortable going to guitar stores. If you look around, you’ll see a few, but if they are there chances are they’re already musicians.”
Juszkiewicz also took aim at the merchandising efforts of stores, saying that guitar stores aren’t comfortable to browse in, therefore deterring customers from buying the product.
“If you walk into most music stores, there’s nowhere to sit. Give me a break! Most stores aren’t comfortable places. You don’t have the people in the stores that care [that there aren’t any new customers].
“They put all of these guitars on the wall, and they put the best ones out of reach. Because you might steal one? Well, that’s one way to look at it, but Apple doesn’t look at it that way, and most of their stuff is more expensive than a lot of higher-end guitars.