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Thread: Guitar Center parts ways with PRS

  1. #1

    Guitar Center parts ways with PRS

    GC in Raleigh says due to lack of sales, they will not carry anymore save for the Platinum Stores. Also, the salesman at Sam Ash in Raleigh were not even aware that PRS makes any left handed guitars. I told them they did and he replied when he inquired awhile back was that when they make left handed saxophones and pianos, that is when they will make a lefty guitars.


    How out of touch are they?
    Last edited by Tracy Goldstein; 06-28-2014 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Goldstein View Post
    How out of touch are they?
    Very. Since on the PRS website splash page under "special editions" there are lefty CU22 and CU24s listed.

    However, this isn't news. Most GCs are very PRS-ignorant, and that will only increase now that the Core line will only be at Platinum stores.

    However, regular GCs will still carry the SEs, and I believe the S2s.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    To be fair, and speaking as someone who has attempted to shop in GC but does not live in the USA, while I'm sure it's not a bad thing for PRS that PRS sells guitars to GC, I would rather buy a nice PRS from one of the many smaller independent dealers that frequent this forum (and probably a few that don't but should) - a million times over. So it's not the end of the world. I hope the "little guys" only sell more as a result. You can't put a price on knowledge and passion, which are two things that very few GC employees have any more thanks to their difficult pay structures and high staff turnover as a result.
    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
    To be fair, and speaking as someone who has attempted to shop in GC but does not live in the USA, while I'm sure it's not a bad thing for PRS that PRS sells guitars to GC, I would rather buy a nice PRS from one of the many smaller independent dealers that frequent this forum (and probably a few that don't but should) - a million times over. So it's not the end of the world. I hope the "little guys" only sell more as a result. You can't put a price on knowledge and passion, which are two things that very few GC employees have any more thanks to their difficult pay structures and high staff turnover as a result.
    My guy is an independent dealer with three stores. He goes on fishing trips with the owner of GC and Paul...overseas. I go to my guy first then GC.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tabl10s View Post
    My guy is an independent dealer with three stores. He goes on fishing trips with the owner of GC and Paul...overseas. I go to my guy first then GC.
    Hey, if you bring the cooler with the beer and ice, they'll let just about anyone go along with them...


    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabl10s View Post
    My guy is an independent dealer with three stores. He goes on fishing trips with the owner of GC and Paul...overseas. I go to my guy first then GC.
    GC has one person who can be considered the "owner"? Who is it?

  7. #7
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitecat View Post
    GC has one person who can be considered the "owner"? Who is it?


    His name is Geoffrey

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post


    His name is Geoffrey
    Hey, that's a picture of me!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member Whitecat's Avatar
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    This guy used to own it, but must've sold to the giraffe earlier this year...

    PS Starla (burnt orange smokeburst), Starla (vintage cherry, IRW neck, birds), HBII (faded gray black 'double' 10-top), HB12 (black gold), NF3 (antique white/birds), 25th ann. Mira 245 (frost blue metallic), KL1812, 2011 'Stripped' 58 (goldtop)

  10. #10
    Member Johnnyboy94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post


    His name is Geoffrey
    LOL. May as well be. I have a mini-war with at least one employee every time I go to GC. It's the only music store in m area, which sucks because I have come to hate them. My favorite is the guy who has no idea of how a Hollowbody II could be anywhere near as nice as his '72 LP Custom. PRS used to share a wall section that was about 15 feet wide and floor to ceiling(high ceilings in most GC's) with Gibson. Gibson now has the entire wall, and Prs was given a wall slot, most of which is covered in strats and tele's. the only PRS' on the wall are an older Tremonti SE, an older SE CU24, the newer SE CU24, and a new SE Santana.

    Uninformed goons,
    PRS SE Angelus Standard w/Piezo
    PRS Santana SE (Custom 22 w/Santana Headstock Inlay)
    Fender T-Bucket 300CE Acoustic-ElectricFender Mustang I
    Quote Originally Posted by gush View Post
    I'm in the"buy all the prs guitars you can afford" camp.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Audie's Avatar
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    I am going to vent here! The reason for the lack of sales is across the board, GC stores do not stock enough PRS inventory. If they filled their walls up with PRS and endorsed the product like the whores they are to the other brands, PRS sales would be way better. I have tested GC employees and they mostly say, but I might be closer to right by saying, always want to guide you to the other brands. When I travel I always seek out a GC to see what PRS inventory they have on hand. Mostly, and I emphasize mostly, I am disappointed with the PRS product offering at these stores. I know there are some exceptions, but mostly NOT. Just yesterday I overheard a GC clown promoting a Gibson rack of guitars parked right in front of the door. The new model being pushed was a singlecut Hollowbody Les Paul that is all laminate. The customer emphasized he wanted to see a hollowbody PRS and the GC person said the PRS was laminate also and not as good as a guitar. Lies! Lies!

    To that end these threads, in my opinion ( and no disrespect to the OP), however well intentioned they are, are worse for the PRS brand than some one coming on here saying in a thread they were dissatisfied with a PRS product. Those folks will either be redeemed by a Masterful company known as PRS, or they will never be satisfied. I ignore those threads for that reason. That said, I regret my post here. But I have seen many of these threads and felt I had to get this off my chest. IMO, if the product is not on the floor, the salesmen does not push the product, of course the sales will be less. It is a no-brainer!!! I would love to see a comparison of PRS sales to the other brands and account for the lack of GC marketing. I bet the numbers will be a whole lot different. Can I get some PRS love!!!!!!!!!!!! Peace and Goodnight.

    PRS is content with the arrangement so I will be also. That does not mean I wont call it like I see it. GC expects compromises from PRS in the name of sales that PRS will not give. I applaud PRS for that. To that end, GC does what it must. That does not justify their employees misleading customers. Unexecptable! Integrity is such a lonely word! PRS and Mesa rock! So yes Tracy, GC is out of touch!
    Last edited by Audie; 06-28-2014 at 08:27 PM. Reason: added last five sentences

  12. #12
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    I'd think if there was demand for PRS at GC there would be plenty of inventory. Hell GC has yearly blowouts on Gibsons to get rid of dead wood and that's the "popular" brand so I can only imagine how long PRS stock was hanging around. I know that I've never walked into Sam Ash or GC looking for a PRS, I don't think I've ever walked into anywhere looking for a PRS. Like a lot of other players they were just not on my radar for several reasons and it took having one lowly S2 dropped onto my lap to get my attention.
    No matter how fantastic PRS guitars are, and they are, IMO their marketing has been lack luster, and that's not GC's problem.
    FWIW I'll keep beating the drum about how great my PRS is and maybe help PRS get another additional sale or two.

  13. #13
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    Normally I'd just add that it's GC's loss, the buyers will just purchase PRS's from somebody else. The one negative about the whole thing might be that for many of us, GC is the only brick and mortar store that you could walk into and try out a PRS, even if the selection was limited the buyer could get some idea of whether or not a particular model suited him.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    No matter how fantastic PRS guitars are, and they are, IMO their marketing has been lack luster.
    Not to argue, just seeking clarification: Why do you feel that way?

    In addition to magazine ads, I see Paul Smith hustling his product all over the US, personally visiting various dealers (including the GC near me just a few months ago); there is a sophisticated website with lots of product information, beautiful photography, and videos; they are at all the trade shows and get plenty of magazine attention and reviews; in most years there is Experience; there is this Forum; there are endorsement deals with the guitars in the hands of very fine players; there are steady email contacts with customers and a newsletter and blog...there is an expanded 3-tier electric product line, there are acoustic guitars and amplifiers...

    So what's missing?

    Fender had a 35 year lead on PRS, and Gibson nearly 100 years to get their brand where it was when PRS first appeared on the scene. I think PRS has done well, and will continue to grow. It takes time.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-28-2014 at 10:39 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audie View Post
    I am going to vent here! The reason for the lack of sales is across the board, GC stores do not stock enough PRS inventory. If they filled their walls up with PRS and endorsed the product like the whores they are to the other brands, PRS sales would be way better.

    Its simple. The economy sucks. GC is hurting BAD just like most everyone. They want to stock what sells the most. Thats Fender and Gibson. Get the economy going again and you will see more PRS at GC as well as other brands that sell less than Fender and Gibson, as well as higher end products. Thats really all it is. A reflection of the economy and what sells the most. AWFUL times everywhere right now. My business is hurting, everyone else I know who is a small business owner is hurting, and most of the construction, home improvement companies in this area are hurting BIG time. My doctors are hurting, by dentist is hurting, ALL of my suppliers are hurting. Awful times almost everywhere. The worst I have seen in my lifetime. (I am 55)

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    I remember going in to my GC to trade a Les Paul I had, and when I told the guy helping me I was looking to get a PRS, he said in the most snobby, condescending tone, "Oh... really, a PRS?" I just think the salesmen there are uninformed and don't make an effort to get to know what they're selling. For the most part, they're just like the majority of guitar buyers that only know about Gibson and Fender, and let it cloud their judgement. What a shame.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Audie's Avatar
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    To clarify, GC, by their own design, is contractually obligated to give the majority of their guitar space to Fender and Gibson. That is what Fender, Gibson, and GC want. It leaves little room for everyone else on PURPOSE! With GC employee incentives to sell guitars, they are going to sell what is in front of them and what makes their bosses happy and that is selling F&G. If the salesman gets incentives for moving merchandise, you know the manager does. How do I know this? Many conversations with present and former GC employees and managers. When a clueless or unknowing customer comes in the door, they are guided to what is on the floor. A I demonstrated in my previous post, they lie or mislead potential PRS customers to the other brands. I have seen this more than once with my own eyes and ears. Sad but true.

    Additionally, in the past, I had an evening conversation over Beers with an Ibanez employee. We were discussing this same topic, but insert Ibanez in place of PRS. GC does not carry the best sellers from Ibanez, only very few niche market priced guitars that are out the door quick. If you want an Ibanez from GC, you are going to have to order it, just as you would a PRS. He explained GC will simply not represent the entire, or even half the Ibanez line. He said Ibanez had to build specific exclusive guitars for GC at low low prices for GC to expand their Ibanez line just slightly. It is a no brainer that cheaper guitars are cheaper in quality. Furthermore, when the exclusive guitars were gone, so was the extra wall space for the Ibanez line. Now think about why that is. GC has the luxury of not representing the full line of brands to please F&G who pump out tons of cheap guitars that many of which are overpriced and some of which that are sold as premium guitars. . Meanwhile, they screw the mom and pop shops by having the ability to order in a guitar at a cheaper price than the mom and pops who cant afford to carry the whole line anyway. Who wins, it is not the branded company, it is GC only. Imagine that! I know of three people who closed their music stores when GC was on the rise after the buy in/out of Musiciansfriend because F&G came to these guys and told them to order an outrageous inventory or lose the line. Not only did they lose the line, they lost their stores in the process. Two other store owner friends had this happen to them as well. They survived because one carries PRS and sells the hell out of them and the other carries brands GC does not. To that end, it is not the economy, PRS is maxing production ( save two crazy good years) and those guitars are not going to GC. They are going to the mom and pop stores that some of which are represented here on this forum Stores that have top sales of PRS. So it is not the economy, it is bullying practices by GC that PRS cannot and will not exploit without compromising their brand to please GC. That is the reason GC says "PRS just aint selling" BULL$HI#! Kudos to PRS for not taking their crap and enough sensible musicians and guitar affiicanados out there to offset all the GC lies that PRS aint selling. The company is not hurting and kicking butt and doing so without GC. That says alot.

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    This is similar to what is happening in Canada.

    Here, our national chain is called "Long n McQuade"....excellent store, but is owned by a company called Yorkville Sound, who coincidentally, the importers of Gibson in Canada.

    Same deal....walls of Gibby and Fender, but in fairness...they stock lots of Ibanez, Godin and some others.

    The problem is...and it was touched on earlier....gone are the days of a guitar shop with WALLS of guitars. The economy first and foremost is doing it. Secondly, the Internet allows me to shop at guitar shop X, which has a brilliant rep and knowledge base. 20 yrs ago, you were stuck buying within a 2-5 hour drive radius, basically.

    The Internet changed the way we buy

    The current economy changed what we can afford to buy.

    PRS will be fine....



    My 2 cents

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyvenn View Post
    This is similar to what is happening in Canada.

    Here, our national chain is called "Long n McQuade"....excellent store, but is owned by a company called Yorkville Sound, who coincidentally, the importers of Gibson in Canada.

    Same deal....walls of Gibby and Fender, but in fairness...they stock lots of Ibanez, Godin and some others.

    The problem is...and it was touched on earlier....gone are the days of a guitar shop with WALLS of guitars. The economy first and foremost is doing it. Secondly, the Internet allows me to shop at guitar shop X, which has a brilliant rep and knowledge base. 20 yrs ago, you were stuck buying within a 2-5 hour drive radius, basically.

    The Internet changed the way we buy

    The current economy changed what we can afford to buy.

    PRS will be fine....



    My 2 cents
    I agree with Tony.

    GC put a lot of small shops around me out of business, because the business model for guitar sales changed in the 90s. Now they're having issues because of the economy and the business model is changing again.

    It'll sort itself out eventually. But PRS isn't going to suffer.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  20. #20
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    There's a GC about 5-10 minutes from me. Great place to shop and look around, not so much to buy because of how the customers treat the instruments. Oddly enough, there's another GC about 30 minutes away, and they have a somewhat different selection - they'll get guitars in that I'll never see at the closer store (for example, the Epiphone Thunderhorse Explorer). I think that falls under the way these chains analyze what sells where - Barnes & Noble near that place has a fairly poor selection of music books, but one that's about 15 minutes in the opposite direction has a much better selection (and when Border's was still there, they'd have almost a completely different selection than the B&N two minutes away).

    What I've found very interesting - and counter to my expectations - the GC, despite its reputation, does not do a great job beating my mom and pop store. And that's over 7-8 years or so. I've never seen a PRS at a lower price at the closer GC. Granted, my M&P isn't five minutes down the road (it's about 20 minutes from this GC), but it's pretty much THE music store in this area. And GC almost never beats it on price. I had not expected that. I asked the owner of the M&P a few years ago if GC was having an effect on business, and he said it was a mixed bag - they probably lost some sales, but probably gained a few as well from people who tried things at GC but came to them for better service and knowledge. He said, "People know."
    Alan

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