Wow while this applies to small businesses don’t try and compete with the big boys on price, compete by differentiating: premium brands, more choice, better service. . .
But in the MI industry is does this story tell why the current trends at Guitar Center (GC) are destined to fail (just something to think about as in no way do I think GC is about to lose it’s top spot in the retail MI/Pro biz). CG has been changing since it wend private (bought by Bain Capital). Some of the changes are simply the fact that Bain as instituted a number of programs to improve profitability (reduce inventory and increase margins) that are obvious B school / PE fund tactics. Others may be more like responding to Wal-Mart.
Wal-mart is not a big factor in the MI industry (though both Wal-Mart and Target among other’s have added cheap guitars and instruments to their product mix they are not a threat to full line music stores). But Best Buy is in that in addition to the entry level products the other big box stores sell they are rolling out MI Stores within stores around the country. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25875917/
So is GC responding by making some of the same mistakes listed in the Inc. story with regard to trying to compete on Best Buy’s terms? From an outside perspective GC seems to be reducing the number of brands and SKU’s they stock. Only time will tell.