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  1. #1

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    At some Guitar Center stores, employees are still allowing customers to try out models of guitars. Dillard’s, a department store chain popular in the South, is still welcoming shoppers looking for clothing and makeup. And Michaels, the arts and crafts chain, says it is keeping many of its stores open to provide supplies to parents teaching their homebound children. “We are here for the makers,” the retailer said in an email to one concerned customer.

    In states hit hard by the coronavirus, like New York and California, governors and mayors have mandated the closure of all but the obviously essential stores, like supermarkets and pharmacies. And the Department of Homeland Security has laid out guidelines for businesses across the country to follow when deciding whether to stay open, even in regions not known to be hot spots for the virus. The agency is careful to note that its definition of a “critical” work force is not an official standard, leaving it up to corporations to decide for themselves.

    Given this latitude, retailers have kept thousands of stores open, even as health experts warn that the virus is likely to spread more widely across the country in the coming weeks. Several retailers — like Sears, Kmart, and Joann Fabric and Craft Stores — have provided employees with letters they can share, arguing that their businesses are essential.

    ...

    Some corporate leaders may see little choice but to keep operating. Guitar Center and Joann, for example, had relatively high levels of debt heading into the health crisis, credit analysts say. Closing for the next few months, while burning through cash to make debt payments, could be especially painful. But each company is taking a different approach. Guitar Center has closed 75 percent of its stores, while Joann has closed fewer than 10 percent.

    ...

    At Guitar Center in recent days, customers have been trying out guitars, then putting them back on the shelves after touching them, said two employees at two stores in different states, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

    A spokeswoman for Guitar Center said the company had “increased the frequency of store cleanings, with particular focus on instruments and in interactive areas.”
    From Essential? Retailers Like Guitar Center and Michaels Think They Are - The New York Times

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Here's hoping GC stays solvent. I have never bought anything new from them, but I love browsing their used racks. I've bought several guitars and amps used from them.

    Hopefully the Gibson boys can live with what sanitizer will do to nitro finishes. I'm told nitro and alcohol don't get along well.

  4. #3

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    In my home state, the Governor's executive order explicitly spells out what are essential retail sales. Gasoline, groceries, medicine, liquor, take-out or delivery food.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 03-26-2020 at 05:58 AM.

  5. #4

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    I could use some new strings, but maybe not that bad. They don't really have ones I like anyway

  6. #5

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    My son works at Music & Arts in Newton, MA (owned by GC).
    The store has been completely closed since this past Tuesday.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    In my home state, the Governor's executive order explicitly spells out what are essential retail sales. Gasoline, groceries, medicine, liquor, take-out or delivery food.
    Pet supply stores are considered "essential" in some areas.

  8. #7

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    Down here, gun stores are remaining open. Have to stock up for the zombie apocalypse, dontcha-know. Local jurisdictions aren't allowed to close them, and the governor is doing nothing at all, about anything. Bidness as usual.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Pet supply stores are considered "essential" in some areas.
    Colorado just went into state-wide "stay-at-home" orders from the Governor. Gun stores, Liquor stores, and Marijuana shops all made the list of "essentials" to stay open...

  10. #9

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    Our governor here in Arizona declared hair salons essential.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Our governor here in Arizona declared hair salons essential.
    Now I know where to get my trim.

  12. #11

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    I just feel sorry for any nitro finish guitar that gets close to any alcohol based cleaning product, as I have done that error in the past...

  13. #12

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    I think I bought a set of guitar strings there once in a pinch but that's about it.
    I hope the employees keep their jobs but that place is completely off my particular radar.

  14. #13

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    I am not sure if gun stores made the essential list here in California. Our local San Francisco government ran the last gun shop out of business years ago with absurdly draconian regulations.

    But with California's crazy long waiting period, one might die from the Covid-19 virus before being able to pick up their firearm in any case.

  15. #14

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    AZ pawn shops are also essential, lines out the door for gun sales.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Pet supply stores are considered "essential" in some areas.
    There's also a boom in pet adoption from shelters.

  17. #16

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    Line for guns? Wow! People are preparing for Armageddon when it's just this?
    Just like Pavlovs dogs we Americans are reaching for worst scenario conclusions about our fellow citizens.

    Sure I want to protect my family,but take someone else's life over a roll of toilet paper or jar of peanut butter ? No thanks! Amd my guitars as much as I love them dearly are just objects.And no object is worth someone else's life in my book.

    Even if I think they are awful people.I draw the line at protecting one another. And believe me I'm all for the death penalty when it comes to people who kill children and women.
    Last edited by jads57; 03-26-2020 at 05:35 PM.

  18. #17

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    Can't speak for those buying guns, but I think it's more about what happens if we were to lose basic services (e.g. electricity and water) and food supplies. Riots, looting, and a general break down of everything putting people at physical risk as the rule of law disappears. Not too likely a scenario though if you look at post-Katrina New Orleans or even the 60's riots, you can't say it can't happen. At least in some places for limited periods of time.

    The good thing is that those buying firearms to protect their homes are the good guys. Provides some guarantee that things will be fine while we wait for the National Guard.

    Other good thing: it's not going to come to this. Not that you shouldn't stock up for a few months of at home focused practice. But don't think we'll see anything like worst case scenarios.

  19. #18

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    Hmmm.. think I'll cash in my Musicians Friend points earlier rather than later.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    I just feel sorry for any nitro finish guitar that gets close to any alcohol based cleaning product, as I have done that error in the past...
    Way off-topic: citric acid is recommended as a disinfectant for pay terminals instead of alcohol. Wonder what that does to nitro finishes.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    And believe me I'm all for the death penalty when it comes to killing children and women.
    I don't think the state should be allowed to kill women and children. JMO.

  22. #21

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    I think in many places there is not a need for a total lockdown on business. I went to the grocery store and hardware store (multiple trips) last weekend. GC isn't any different, as long as you WASH YOUR HANDS and don't sneeze on anyone.

    That said, NO WAY is it an essential business. I feel for everyone who can't open--in my area, pubs and restaurants are closed or moved to carry out only. Many, many folks are getting laid off.

    I love guitars, just like I love fast cars, but let's get real here. In a crisis some people will get hurt--that's why they call it a crisis.

    Thank god I got a haircut the last weekend they were open...

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Can't speak for those buying guns, but I think it's more about what happens if we were to lose basic services (e.g. electricity and water) and food supplies. Riots, looting, and a general break down of everything putting people at physical risk as the rule of law disappears. Not too likely a scenario though if you look at post-Katrina New Orleans or even the 60's riots, you can't say it can't happen. At least in some places for limited periods of time.
    During the placid days of the last administration I got into target shooting somewhat and finally gave up cause I just couldn't get ammo. It was hoarded like, well, toilet paper.

    Runs on ammo--for that matter runs on ANYTHING--are irrational and *almost* never warranted.

  24. #23

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    Guitar Center is an Essential Retailer-43b9cb3110a64e229a0c5cdf0cc86f86-jpg

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    Guitar Center is an Essential Retailer-43b9cb3110a64e229a0c5cdf0cc86f86-jpg
    brilliant

  26. #25

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    The Good Guys? I don't look at them as good guys at all, rather selfish people who don't consider others as important. In fact during Katrina fights broke out in Newsrooms because how many people other than whites were portrayed as thieves, anarchists,etc.

    Be careful who you classify as the Good Guys!

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I don't think the state should be allowed to kill women and children. JMO.
    I meant individuals who kill women and children. Post edited now, thanks!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I meant individuals who kill women and children. Post edited now, thanks!

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    The Good Guys? I don't look at them as good guys at all, rather selfish people who don't consider others as important. In fact during Katrina fights broke out in Newsrooms because how many people other than whites were portrayed as thieves, anarchists,etc.

    Be careful who you classify as the Good Guys!
    You're the only one bringing up race. Protecting your home has nothing to do with race. And the people currently buying guns are, generally, doing just that. It's not as if criminals are anticipating anarchy and seek to stock up on their firepower. So yes.. folks buying guns right now are the good guys. All races. Across the political spectrum. And without preconceived bias. Because they seek to protect their families.

  30. #29

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    Maybe I'm the only one actually calling it like it is. Unfortunately people tend to also be rather tribal when they start acting primitive.

  31. #30

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    They just "essentially" lost my business.

  32. #31

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    Of course GC is essential. But, in the interest of public safety, they should deliver. Best done by recovered, twice-negative, musicians.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    The good thing is that those buying firearms to protect their homes are the good guys. Provides some guarantee that things will be fine while we wait for the National Guard.
    The gun shops are, what, conducting surveys to screen out the not-good-guys?

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    I just feel sorry for any nitro finish guitar that gets close to any alcohol based cleaning product, as I have done that error in the past...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    Way off-topic: citric acid is recommended as a disinfectant for pay terminals instead of alcohol. Wonder what that does to nitro finishes.
    Not necessary.
    Mild dishwashing detergent or plain soap will do the job.
    Non-abrasive cloth is a must.
    They disable the Wuhan virus in other ways and will not harm guitar finishes.
    Cleaning guns is a whole 'nother thing, except for the non-abrasive cloth part, I think.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Many, many folks are getting laid off.
    Today's forecast here was 28% of the population will lose their jobs in my state. While it is necessary to try to do something to keep folks from ending up homeless and starving, the rescue plan passed in the Senate today probably only covers about eight weeks. What then?

    A couple thousand dollars cash to a family? That's a month's rent or one house payment for most Americans. Then what? That distribution should probably be means tested; my wife is able to work from home and since I work in healthcare as a psychologist (unless either one of us gets sick, since I do work in nursing homes there is a definite chance) I am continuing to go to work until I have to switch to telehealth which has started in one facility. At this point, since our incomes are intact I don't need money from the government and those benefits can probably help somebody else. I am also frugal and have decent savings.

    Worst case scenario seems to be that the pandemic is an active health crisis for 18-24 months, which I dearly hope is not the case but our planning needs to allow for the possibility.

  36. #35

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    Pretty wild stuff for a Guitar Center thread.....

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    ,, Then what? That distribution should probably be means tested;
    - Additional $600 unemployment and 13 week extension over state

    - Means test: $75K individual, $150K couple to get the $1200 checks

    Wait until the tax bill for all this comes in.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    The gun shops are, what, conducting surveys to screen out the not-good-guys?
    Background checks. Imperfect, but has worked several times in my small town to keep felons from purchasing. Some states have more draconian measures to dissuade gun purchases depending the political climate in that locale.

    As for me, I have fast cars. I have many guitars and amps. I have guns, knives, LED flashlights, and expensive fishing gear. I have a solid stash of toilet paper. I am unrepentant. Except for a few of the guitars.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Background checks. Imperfect, but has worked several times in my small town to keep felons from purchasing. Some states have more draconian measures to dissuade gun purchases depending the political climate in that locale.

    As for me, I have fast cars. I have many guitars and amps. I have guns, knives, LED flashlights, and expensive fishing gear. I have a solid stash of toilet paper. I am unrepentant. Except for a few of the guitars.
    i love those third-world stories...

  40. #39

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    Background checks on potential guitar owners are vital, I would say.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    It's not as if criminals are anticipating anarchy and seek to stock up on their firepower.
    That seems like very poor planning on their part.

  42. #41

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    This may be the case everywhere but grocery stores here are setting an early hour of business for senior-citizen shoppers only (and other at-risk persons, such as pregnant women.) The shelves are stocked and everything's been wiped down, so this seems like a good idea.

    Still can't visit my mom in a rehab facility, which I perfectly understand but still deem unfortunate. (As does she---she hasn't seen a single person she's related to in nearly a month---that's very hard on her.)

    Here in Florida, landscapers continue to work. (Landscaping is a year-round business here as we have no real winter; the grass is always green and growning.) My wife's office does not allow people to come in without appointments but the office is still open. I think lots of professional offices (esp small ones) such as accountants and lawyers, are still open, or at least can be.

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    This may be the case everywhere but grocery stores here are setting an early hour of business for senior-citizen shoppers only (and other at-risk persons, such as pregnant women.) The shelves are stocked and everything's been wiped down, so this seems like a good idea.

    (snip)
    Costco has had huge lines for senior hour and long lines at the checkout with no real ability to do social distancing. This is counter productive and hope they figure it out. I miss going to Costco but am avoiding it for the time being. Kroger package pickup (also not without problems) will do it for us for now.

  44. #43

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    Isn't it ironic huge lines at Costco. Especially when hoarding is frowned upon. I guess it does t take much too panic people.
    Hopefully those shoppers at Costco are sharing with friends and family!

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    I could use some new strings, but maybe not that bad. They don't really have ones I like anyway
    Yea, I need some new strings also, since I'm down to one last 'pack' and that is only for my Gibson L-7 and not for my Martin acoustic.

    I assumed they were closed. Of course I got that from my wife that always says my playing of the guitar is NOT essential!

    (just joking, I really lucked out in that my wife is very supportive of my journey to play jazz standards)

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Pet supply stores are considered "essential" in some areas.
    Are you saying that all the pets are supposed to starve? Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but most grocery-store pet food has marginal nutritional value. I'm glad that the pet-supply stores are open.

    Nonetheless, I'm absolutely limiting contact with the outside world - picked up an accordion online yesterday just to make sure.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    The gun shops are, what, conducting surveys to screen out the not-good-guys?
    All gun shops, nationwide, are required to perform Federal background checks via the Form 4473. My son got flagged just for misspelling his own name on the form. An hour after making the correction, he was cleared to purchase.

    I walked into a sporting goods shop a couple of weeks ago. There were hundreds of people, all waiting to purchase firearms. The wait to speak with a salesperson was 1.5 hours. Background checks were a 4 hour wait.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by grandstick01
    All gun shops, nationwide, are required to perform Federal background checks via the Form 4473. My son got flagged just for misspelling his own name on the form. An hour after making the correction, he was cleared to purchase.

    I walked into a sporting goods shop a couple of weeks ago. There were hundreds of people, all waiting to purchase firearms. The wait to speak with a salesperson was 1.5 hours. Background checks were a 4 hour wait.
    In all fairness, if you can't spell your own name, should you be trusted with a firearm?

  49. #48

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    Maybe someone else posted about this elsewhere but GC is closed in Nebraska, even though there isn’t a strict “essential business only” policy.

    Which kind of sucks because I need to buy an instrument.

    Some merchants are letting you order by phone and then go for curbside delivery. They could do that I would think.

    What is not real smart to me is that the local GC’s don’t even have an answering machine...the phone just rings...

    Another music store answers the messages and will get back with you and work out a deal for local delivery. I would not bet GC will be around after the recession...kind of a business with “preexisting conditions”—very prone to coronavirus complications.

  50. #49

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    perhaps Guitar Center can solve its financial problems .. and start selling guns..

    Ill take a Gibson 335 and a Baretta 45...

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Maybe someone else posted about this elsewhere but GC is closed in Nebraska, even though there isn’t a strict “essential business only” policy.

    Which kind of sucks because I need to buy an instrument.

    Some merchants are letting you order by phone and then go for curbside delivery. They could do that I would think.

    What is not real smart to me is that the local GC’s don’t even have an answering machine...the phone just rings...

    Another music store answers the messages and will get back with you and work out a deal for local delivery. I would not bet GC will be around after the recession...kind of a business with “preexisting conditions”—very prone to coronavirus complications.
    The Austin-area stores are closed, I can't even browse their used listings. The only items they have for order are three software packaes that I assume are purchased via download. I think it's responsible of them, but yeah, it could be damaging in proportion to the length of the closures.