After a tumultuous 2017, Gibson has confirmed that it is snubbing the NAMM 2018 show in Anaheim, California later this month, instead showing its products at the CES in Las Vegas. But what’s behind this move?
With less than three weeks to go before NAMM, we’ve learned that Gibson has made the decision not to appear at the 2018 show. The company has decided instead to exhibit at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) that runs from 9-12 January 2018.
Gibson has a lot of money invested in their electronics divisions which include brands like Philips, TEAC, Tascam and Onkyo. Last year they showed a prototype of their new Modern Double Cut at CES instead of NAMM, so in some ways the decision to avoid NAMM this year makes sense.
I’m pretty sure that Gibson will appreciate the savings, too. A big booth at a major trade show costs a small fortune, and all the including stand fees, staffing and shipping costs can quickly add up. Again, this makes a lot of financial sense for the company, as it is seriously in debt. Its poor debt structure was a reason why the company was rated poorly last year by Moodys. It’s also been selling off assets like its Beale Street, Memphis factory to generate liquidity; the asking price is reported to be $17 million.
Gibson’s official line on the sale of its factory sale is that they want “a new facility will allow the company to improve the product quality, increase production capacity and potentially increase employment in the area”. Sounds like corporate spin to me. I could be wrong, but I think 2018 could be a crucial year for Gibson – and not necessarily in the way we would like it to be.
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