Legendary guitar maker, Gibson, has filed for bankruptcy protection.
Gibson Brands, the makers of rock’s favourite Les Paul, SG and Flying V guitars, has filed for bankruptcy protection citing a “devastating” financial fall after its investments in consumer electronic brands failed to pay off.
The company said in a statement accompanying its chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Tuesday that it required court protection from creditors to reorganize its business.Aging out?
The turmoil afflicting the maker of guitars favored by Neil Young, Jimmy Page and Slash is a common story across the industry.
Over the past decade, electric guitar sales have plummeted, from about 1.5m sold annually to around 1m. In 2010, sales of acoustic guitars outstripped electric. Some industry analysts thank Taylor Swift for that shift.
Like Gibson, Fender, which had to abandon a public offering in 2012, has struggled under debt. The US’s largest retail guitar supplier, Guitar Center, recently had its corporate credit rating downgraded to junk status by S&P after racking up debts of $1.6bn.
According to Digital Music News, “younger buyers, who once drove the guitar surge, have now shifted towards [EDM], rap, and less guitar-driven indie music – even though interest in music itself has never been higher.”