Gibson has been drowning in debt. They owe $375 million, but if they don’t pay that by July, then they will owe an additional $145 million. They recently had to lay off about 15 workers from their custom shop (out of 100 total). The custom shop started up about 20 years ago. They are responsible for recreating vintage models and signature models (like the Dave Grohl model). Gibson does not sell online, rather they sell exclusively in stores like Guitar Center. They also sell electronics, however this seems to be the root of the financial issues. People just aren’t buying their electronics.
Personally, I love Gibson guitars. All of my guitars (with exception of my acoustic-electric and my cigar box guitar) are from Gibson’s sister brand, Epiphone. (I’m too cheap to lay $1000 down for a guitar.)
I’ve toured their factory in Memphis twice. If you ever get the chance to see it, go. It’s so cool to see the processes of making a guitar.
I would be extremely crushed if Gibson sealed up its doors forever. I refuse to buy Fenders (well…not refuse. I’ve been looking for a good guitar that will give me a classic sound…I might just buy a Fender Strat and that’s it…).
Maybe now’s a good time to invest in Gibson stock. Buy low sell high, right? Hopefully Gibson can cut out its debt creators and maybe jump on the bandwagon and sell online–anything they can do to keep the company alive.