As consumers continue to operate mostly from home, guitar brand Gibson has launched a mobile app on the iOS App Store and Android Google Play to interact with guitar players, the company announced on Thursday in an email to Retail Dive.
The app allows users to connect with the Gibson.com website and access its virtual guitar tech service, as well as learn how to play and tune their guitar. Gibson app users can shop online for Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer instruments, along with Gibson-branded apparel, gear and accessories, the company said in its announcement.
Users can access free consultations with Gibson pro guitar technicians through the app, who can guide users through basic guitar tune-up and maintenance tasks via one-on-one video conferencing. Users can also watch Gibson TV content through the app, according to the company.
Gibson's app release comes after the Guitar Center filed for bankruptcy in November, just one of many victims of the pandemic.
The retailer had focused on pivoting its stores to be destinations for music lessons, rentals and repairs in addition to purchases. Then, stores were forced closed and many consumers have continued to avoid them. The retailer said the Chapter 11 filing would cut down its debt from private equity buyouts and provide necessary liquidity.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Gibson is hoping guitar players will use their downtime to practice their craft, and preferably with the help of its app. Cesar Gueikian, chief merchant at Gibson, noted in the announcement that the app is meant to simplify the learning process.
"Our focus over the past few years has been all about our obsession with guitars, our connection with artists, and on re-building our iconic brands of Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer," James Curleigh, president and CEO of Gibson Brands, said in a statement. "Now it's time to bring guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way."
Gibson joins other retailers, including Macy's and David's Bridal, in bringing experiences virtual, including through appointment services. The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted experiential retail, but it has also pushed companies to engage with their customers remotely as they shelter in place.