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Thread: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

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    Senior Member amp360's Avatar
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    Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    So, FMIC announced at NAMM that they will be selling everything direct. A lot of vendors are not happy about this because they see the guitar store as moving in the direction of Best Buy - where people go there to check things out and then order on Amazon.

    For FMIC I think it makes a lot of sense. Especially because GC is in so much debt. If people are going to order from MF, M123, Sweetwater, AMS, Zzounds, etc... it seems to make sense to just setup a call center and get that business for themselves.

    What say all of you?

    Also, Carvin is no longer making guitars. They're going to be rebranded into Kiesel and Carvin is going to make maps and pa gear. Very odd.

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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by amp360 View Post
    So, FMIC announced at NAMM that they will be selling everything direct. A lot of vendors are not happy about this because they see the guitar store as moving in the direction of Best Buy - where people go there to check things out and then order on Amazon.

    For FMIC I think it makes a lot of sense. Especially because GC is in so much debt. If people are going to order from MF, M123, Sweetwater, AMS, Zzounds, etc... it seems to make sense to just setup a call center and get that business for themselves.

    What say all of you?

    Also, Carvin is no longer making guitars. They're going to be rebranded into Kiesel and Carvin is going to make maps and pa gear. Very odd.

    Fender is the main stay of credibility for the big box stores -- this could really be bad for them if all of the sudden you can get a CS tele for $500 less direct that at GC
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    Senior Member amp360's Avatar
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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    Yeah, I see this going one of a few ways.

    1- Fender sells at MSRP and lets the dealers sell for street price. I highly doubt this would happen, as you could just order from any catalog or store and it wouldn't be worth their effort.

    2- Fender sells at street price alongside the stores. Again, not much of a reason for them to do this as it would anger dealers.

    3- Fender sells at higher price but allows you to choose what you want from a set number of options on production (not CS models) ala Carvin. This is kind of what they have been experimenting with. Neat idea, but it is a lot more expensive for what you get.

    4- Fender has online store with street price items, for a higher amount you get to pick from a select set of options or you can order some low level of CS model for even more. Sale, blemish, special runs and coupon codes. This is what I'm thinking will happen.

    I think the guy from Fender said people are now even buying eyeglasses online so why not guitars? I would like to bet more Fender guitars get purchased online from the big catalogs then get sold in stores. If this is the case, or even if the number is close, it would be crazy for them not to do this. Typically, those companies buy guitars at about 1/2 price of MSRP. Fender could cut their prices 20%, set up a call center and be done with it. They already have a shipping department.

    I could even see them charging for a setup from a "Fender Certified Tech" or something stupid like that.

    If they do this and it works they control a lot of brands. I could see them having a few "lifestyle" stores around the country (NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston) sort of like First Act did.

    If this works out it's going to put GC in a big mess. For the smaller dealers this would surely hurt some, but it may actually help others because if you knock GC down then the local places could pick up the other brands and accessories business and probably do ok.

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    LVC
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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by amp360 View Post
    Yeah, I see this going one of a few ways.


    If they do this and it works they control a lot of brands. I could see them having a few "lifestyle" stores around the country (NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston) sort of like First Act did. .
    Well Apple has developed the model.... so now none of these cats need to reinvent the wheel.

    Apple still sells through Best Buy (most products) and smaller higher volume products (phones, pads) pretty much everywhere.
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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    My first thought was that this would be terrible for the brick and mortars but amp360 made a good point regarding the Ma and Pa's being able to focus on other products and making up for it that way. Hopefully that might help at least the better dealers stay alive.

    Factory direct sales is currently a huge issue in the retail auto sales world with traditional dealers squaring off against Tesla's direct sales model. The main difference is auto dealers paid to have franchise laws enacted that in many instances protect them. The local music store doesn't have that kind of political clout.

    I was in LA a while back and stopped in at Carvin's sole retail outlet, there was not much going on and it had kind of a dead feel about it. In comparison I got the exact opposite feeling at the Mesa Boogie factory showroom just a few doors down, it was actually busy. I always wondered how Carvin sold enough guitars to actually stay in business. They are not very common around these parts.

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    LVC
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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Baxen View Post
    I was in LA a while back and stopped in at Carvin's sole retail outlet, there was not much going on and it had kind of a dead feel about it....
    don't let that fool you ... these stores also act as showrooms so folks can stop by and kick the tires so they can feel confident about buying the product online.
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    Senior Member amp360's Avatar
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    Re: Fender Expanding Direct Sales also the end of Carvin NAMM 2015

    Good point Baxen! I remember when GM closed down a bunch of dealerships a few years back.


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