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Interesting.

GC's business model, as explained here, is an odd one. The notion of the retail stores effectively being a system of "distributed warehouses" for their online business is clever (supporting both nationwide physical and online retail with the same infrastructure) but also quite expensive from a real estate perspective and cumbersome in terms of logistics. Their real estate costs have to be massive. Huge amount of floor space devoted to a product line that simply can't be packed in as tight as things like groceries, clothing, or home improvement supplies.

If these guys are correct, these little ticky-tack moves like shorting vendor payments and making managers pull triple duty during the COVID crisis do indicate a cash crunch. My guess is that GC thinks it can fuck over small-time vendors like Rickenbacker and Fortin without suffering any real consequences. GC has sort of a symbiotic relationship with Gibson and Fender, so undoubtedly anyone outside of that should be taking very good care of their non-GC business portfolio.

For me, GC went south years ago. I still go there when I need basics in a hurry, but the new guitar offerings don't have much pull for me and the used guitars that I'd be interested in are often wildly mispriced and with little or no haggling possible. Even the basic stuff, like strings, isn't as good as it used to be, as they've quietly cut back on the variety of their inventory. Still better than smaller mom-and-pop stores, but often not as good as larger independent stores (at least around here).
I pretty much only go in the ones I know have a decent used section, and then not very often, as I can count on them NOT having anything I need. Matt's Guitars, Action and Atomic are really where I go for instruments.
 

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I miss Chuck Levins and Venemanns from the 80s... thankfully we have two local stores here that are sort of the same, just not as cool.
I hated hated HATED when Veneman's sold out, but I couldn't blame them.

We have three GCs in NoVA, and I've never even been to the one in Alexandria. Fairfax was OK when Steve had some autonomy there, but has generally sucked since, and Seven Corners is a continual slide into awfulness.
 
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