Gibson NAMM 2018 no show

Gibson NAMM 2018 no show  ·  Source: Gibson

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?

No NAMM

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.

Gibson CES guitar model

New Gibson prototype at CES Show 2017

Saving Money?

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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by Jef

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10 Comments on "Gibson snubs NAMM Show 2018: Strategic choice or a financial one?"

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B.C. Loy
Guest

They won’t be missed at Winter Namm. There is no shortage of mind blowing 6 string eye candy, and w/Gibson’s high prices and shoddy workmanship, there’s just a lot out there that’s better. You’re losing your touch, Gibson!

William Paxson
Guest
Well from a Yank’s point of view (and also from a person who previously managed and ran a successful guitar store for almost 24 years-and yes we were a Gibson dealer among other top brands), seeing as how Gibson has essentially gutted their dealer network here in the States and pretty much just have some big box/internet vendors with a sprinkling to big budget indy/speciality dealers left, going to NAMM is probably redundant. Here in my home State of Indiana, as far as I can tell, there are only three outlets for Gibson products left: Sweetwater, Guitar Center, and Sam… Read more »
Cupax
Guest

Mark my words – Gibson will be selling the entire company to Cort (or similar) in the following couple of years.

l_c_w
Guest

Gibson has seriously fallen off their rocker… CES is not the audience for guitars. Completely stupid decision. They need to stop trying to be a company they are not. Get back to basics, back to quality as primary focus, stop making stupid designs that no one wants or asked for – *cough* modern double cut *cough*… Dumbest looking guitar I’ve ever seen from Gibson… Right up there with the Eye guitar.

Stéphane Poirier
Guest

Gibson has forgotten the essentials in business: never deceive customers. That’s what Gibson just did to producers from around the world who have been with Cakewalk for decades.

Stéphane Poirier
Guest

By killing Cakewalk, Gibson committed suicide. Many musicians have found by the hard way.that Gibson is unreliable.

William Paxson
Guest

Over here in the US, a lot of us long ago figured out that stuff like this is just business as usual for Gibson.

Gianluca Della Porta
Guest

Memphis factory sold for 14m $

William Paxson
Guest
Yeah, and that’s a screwed up deal when you dig into it. Gibson bought that property for about 1m $ from the city of Memphis on one of those sweetheart deals where they promised to employ a bunch of people there. Gibson supposedly spent 20m $ building and renovating the property so selling it for 14m $ results in a 7m $ loss for Gibson plus now there is a possible issue with the city over whether Gibson fulfilled it’s part of the original bargain by employing the number of people it promised. And the company that just bought that… Read more »