#1
Hi guys n gals

I'm working with a music shop to try and take hold on the local market of guitarists and get them coming to us above other places. At the moment we only stock Yamaha, Roland and Line 6. This is because the shop started as an Organ centre, so already got supply from Yamaha and Roland, and since Yamaha just acquired Line 6 we can stock that too.

The question is, what brands would you go to a specific music shop to buy? Guitars, pedals, amps and accessories.

What would be in your dream guitar shop?
Don't you hate it when you're reading a sentence and it doesn't end how you testicles.

Did you hear the one about the boy with the short atten
#2
Looking to capture the local market by asking the question to a worldwide audience? You need to enquire what distributors will work with you, as many will only work with a limited number of outlets in a given geographic area. Others will specify that you have to stock a particular range. talk to your local target market. An instrument store can't survive just selling instruments anymore. Teaching facilities and a workshop are pretty much a requirement. Your bread and butter will most likely be low end starter instruments and amps, which ties in to the teaching facilities.
#3
All valid points, all something we already do. We have a school of about 200 students in our teaching facilities, and will be working to find a local workshop to aid in repairs and servicing.

What we're looking for is what brands people want to buy. A 'Worldwide' audience is a fuzzy term with guitar products, as most people have such a varied view on what gear is great and it tends to have less and less to do with geographical location.

We want to know what brands people are universally excited about. Yamaha guitars are great with beginners, but beyond that not many people will make their way to a shop to specifically buy a Pacifica.

The shop is successful, but with pianists, drummers and organ players. For guitars, I can only offer my opinion on what I think is good. I want a wider view of gear that other people want to buy.
Don't you hate it when you're reading a sentence and it doesn't end how you testicles.

Did you hear the one about the boy with the short atten
#4
Hooks.

I'm going to throw this thread over to the Guitar Gear & Accessories forum for a more appropriate audience, the mods there can decide if it stays open.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#6
Go to other shops, see what they have. And haven't.

Then sell the stuff they don't have.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#7
Seriously, you have some work to do deciding whether you want to concentrate on higher-end instruments or lower end. The temptation is to fill the racks with cheap stuff (probably easier to sell), but you need to survey your market and see what your locals will support.

Second, you may want to establish a largely online presence.

I was introduced (a couple of years ago) to Wild West Guitars in Riverside (I'm in So Cal). We have a long ton of guitar shops within driving range, many of which are world famous. Wild West hides in a light industrial park with a tiny sign, locked door and blacked-out windows. They expect absolutely no walk-by traffic and pretty much all they sell are guitars. While they have some Gibsons (largely trade-ins, I suspect), the bulk of their guitars are PRS, Fender, Suhr and a few other high-end semi-custom brands. They don't handle cheap instruments at all. You don't head in there on the way home from school and toss down your backpack and beat on a few guitars. You will be booted out on your ass. It's one of the best places to find Masterbilt Fenders, etc, and they're not at all stuffy (if they've unlocked the front door to let you in, you've presumably established yourself as a serious shopper).

Most of their business is a bustling online presence. What they actually *show* online is a fraction of what they have, and much of it moves out so fast they have trouble keeping the website current, so you *call* or visit if you're looking for something specific. They'll send out a bunch of photos of new arrivals that might interest you, specifically.

Also interesting about the place is the Voodoo lounge -- they actually have a full-blown club (decor done by the folks who do the Rainforest cafe restaurants) complete with VIP rooms, full bar, raised stage, good PA, etc. When you're wandering through, it appears to be a doorway to a darkened room, and you can easily walk right by. There's a non-obvious outer door, but again, nothing to indicate what's inside. They have events (PRS demos, etc.) and they DO open it up with decent acts occasionally, but you need to be a member. It's not really open to the public except by invitation.
#8
Worth noting that bands that have keyboardists tend to be larger and have more money to spend than those without (I know, that's a broad-stroke statement that can easily be challenged <G>.

If you're already in the keyboard business successfully, you might consider your existing customer base as great referral material for the guitar part of the shop, and move a bit upscale.
#9
Quote by TheKraken
Hi guys n gals

I'm working with a music shop to try and take hold on the local market of guitarists and get them coming to us above other places. At the moment we only stock Yamaha, Roland and Line 6. This is because the shop started as an Organ centre, so already got supply from Yamaha and Roland, and since Yamaha just acquired Line 6 we can stock that too.

The question is, what brands would you go to a specific music shop to buy? Guitars, pedals, amps and accessories.

What would be in your dream guitar shop?
At least in my area, getting a brand of guitar in the shop, as a dealer, is a lot easier said then done. You do know that some companies like Fender or Gibson require you to sell ~$70k-200k USD (a lot for a smaller store) worth of their equipment each year to be considered a dealer? Or is that different in the UK/other areas? I work in a music shop and we can't stock those guitars as a dealer because of that reason. GC has a monopoly on brands like that.

If you are able to get brands like that, definitely stock well-known names in your store. Don't go with lesser-known brands like Samick or Jay Turser, even though they are cheap and relatively good. People don't recognize the name. See what Fender can do for you as far as guitars go.

Some brands also allow you to mix and match their products together. So you might could get some of Fender's pedals and accessories as well, if you need to meet a sale floor. And some of Fender's lower-end instruments like the Squiers can be put in the store without actually coming from being a Fender dealer. Rather than having cheap Samicks, get Squiers.

Boss pedals as well, very well-known name. Electro-Harmonix too.

Line 6 Spiders sell well (bloody awful amps but good for beginners). Marshall MG's sell but of course are good only for beginners. Peavey is a recognizable name for amps. Fender amps might also be good to stock as higher-end equipment. And having a few of Marshall's higher end amps would be good for the serious market.

It would be good to have relations with Korg, primarily because they have a lot of keyboard equipment. As well as if someone wants something VOX amplification. Korg is the dealer of VOX.

Another facet: some "all-in-one" dealers like KMC or Harris-Teller (that is in the states, dunno about Europe) have instruments like Squiers and some amps like VOX Valvetronix. Even though it may be tempting to buy those cheap pieces from dealers like that, it can bite you in the butt if that doesn't help you meet the sales floor to be a dealer of the brand name.

tl;dr get well-known names of equipment if you can meet their sale floor.
Last edited by Will Lane at Oct 24, 2015,
#10
The only keyboard store I've been to that sold guitars had Godins, and some crappy amps I don't remember the name of. The Godins were good.

Another store that included guitars as a sideline had Turser guitars and a few Traynor amps.

Eastman is a high quality Chinese brand with great value.

Guild (electric) and Reverend guitars can be pretty hard to find.

Danelectro has low prices, but pretty cool guitars. Pedals too.

G&L might be a good alternative to Fender since Fender charges so much to be a dealer.

Can't go wrong with Ibanez either, and then you can sell Tama drums.
#11
You will need to stock something mainstream to get people walking in the door: Fender, Gibson Ibanez, Boss, Line 6, Marshall, Orange, etc.

You will need something to set you apart: Godin, Reverend, G&L, Fernandes, Catalinbread, Earthquaker Devices, Supro, Dr. Z, etc.

You should see what goods and services are in the biggest demand in your area. Besides a good guitar tech and maybe a rental space for local instructors, perhaps pro audio rental service is needed.

Or maybe you could do a "Local Luthier" spotlight a few times a year, so the local builders could show/demo/sell their stuff in your store.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
I've seen stores use the Eastwood brand to set themselves apart. That and VHT amps. And some esoteric brand that had Telecasters and Strats that looked like the bodies were made from high school woodshop butcher block cutting boards, complete with wooden scratch plates, knobs, and switch/whammy tips.
#13
Look what your bigger competitors have and then provide something a little differently.

Local shop here that does well has boutique pedal makers, some of the less seen consumer tube amp brands, Traynor, Orange, Reverend guitars and a few other makers that are rarely seen in GC.

Also stock up on guitar parts (hardware). Most small stores are a real letdown when it comes to that and when you think how cheap this stuff really is it makes no sense.

Differentiate yourself enough and pair that with a helpful staff, a good luthier and for the most part you got GC beat.
#14
You know, a "quiet room" for testing acoustics is pretty common...why not one for electrics?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#15
^^^^ Good idea. My mate had a separate room for testing electric gear - amps, stomps guitars. The guitars were on display in the main showroom, but the amps were mostly in the quiet room. You were only allowed to take in one guitar at a time, IIRC.

What part of Somerset are you? City or country town? If you aren't in a big city, specialised gear would be very risky, IMO, especially as you are competing with the internet these days. - My mate almost went broke a few weeks ago, partly because he had to change to smaller premises to a side street and partly because of the internet. You also have to remember that spending power is a lot less in the UK than it is in the US. I was in Liverpool three years ago, and even the big shops in the city centre weren't stocking much expensive stuff. I would be sticking to the well-known and not-too-expensive brands, some of which will be importer brands fairly specific to the UK. Another way to generate business would be to offer repair and tuition services, and have a good trade-in and/or consignment sale options. - Anything that will establish a loyal customer base. Loss leaders like cheap strings might also help to bring folks into the shop, and a Facebook page to get your name out there.
Last edited by Tony Done at Oct 24, 2015,
#16
Personally, while my love of certain brands is pretty well established*, there are definitely some UK brands that are not only rare here in the USA, but seem to be underrepresented in stores over there. Those could be a way to distinguish your product offerings from others.

Fret-King springs to mind. Patrick Eggle is another.

Magnetic Effects is a UK pedal maker.


*Reverend, Godin, G&L, Fernandes, Electra
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Oct 24, 2015,
#17
Amps:

Vox
Marshall
Orange
Victory
Blackstar
Morgan
Jet City
Laney
Ibanez
Tone King
Peavey
Fishman
Ampeg
Fender
Mesa Boogie
Blackheart
Bad Cat
Framus
Danelectro
Randall
Hiwatt
Dumble

Cables

Alessandro
Sommer
Mogami
Planet Waves
Evidence Audio
Spectraflex
Dimarzio
Fender
Analysis Plus
Canare
Vovox
Klotz
Rock Cable - Warwick
Lava
George L

Picks

Dunlop Tortex, Tortex TIII, Jazz III, Felt, Nylon
Planet Waves Celluloid
ESP

Effects

Tone City
MI Audio
MXR
Dunlop
ZVEX
JAM Pedals
Sweetsound
Blackstar
Wampler
Carl Martin
Mesa Boogie
Fender
BOSS
Behringer
Danelectro Cool Cat
Katana
Xotic
TC Electronic
Keeley

Guitars:

Fender
Gibson
Epiphone
Squier
Schecter
Yamaha
Bootleg
JHS Vintage
Encore
James Taylor
Karina
Line 6
PRS
Cort
Ibanez
Ashton
Fret King
Martin
Takamine
Walden
Taylor
Valencia
Last edited by Gibson_LesPaul_ at Oct 24, 2015,
#18
Yerasov, do it.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#19
Avoid the shotgun approach. Consider your brands and your inventory expense carefully.
#20
Look at your current keyboard client base. If they are in blues jazz bands etc. look towards that market for walk in trade. No point in filling the shop with metal gear if that isn't your market and it could be detrimental to your current trade. You don't want to frighten away keyboard players with their delicate sensibilities. Filling a shop with leather clad Slash wannabees looking to demonstrate their prowess on a £100 Les Paul copy ( which they then buy for £99 off the Internet) isn't going to help you sell a £2000 Yamaha keyboard.

Perhaps consider bass gear, and pedals which can be used for both keyboards and guitar. Midi rack gear etc.

As others have said, an online presence is a must.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#21
And, if you are going to sell guitars a good in store guitar tech is a must.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.