Gibson Guitars, the iconic guitar maker, has filed for bankruptcy citing low guitar sales.
I, however, am not really surprised.
See, Gibson still saw itself as a traditional guitar maker, even though the advancements of technology and change in the atmosphere of music and how it’s perceived by the young generation is on a fast track forward. This old-school mentality didn’t match the other makers, mostly Fender (who have taken a role in adapting to the modern trends to stay relevant). What ended up happening was Gibson kept raising the prices of their guitars to be able to break even, but finally priced themselves out of the market.
As you can see, the standard US Les Paul goes for $3,300. That wouldn’t be a major issue unless you follow the news that Gibson’s quality control has been bad for a while.
Now see their classic competitor, Fender’s offering:
Their standard US Strat is for LESS THAN HALF of the Gibson, which as per the reviews is one of the best made Fenders in recent memory.
As long as you consider yourself a luxury brand (this isn’t cars we’re talking about), and trying to sell to broke musicians or beginners, you’re gonna end up with a bad time. Not only that, many other makers do the Les Paul better.
Gibson is too iconic to die, but hoping a change of management and vision will bring it back on track.