It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire and put GBBL on the open market for sale.
Given the sheer joy that I have derived from owning and running GBBL, this has been a difficult decision to reach. My wife, Helen, retired on ill health grounds 4 years ago and her ongoing chronic health problems and desire to travel and maximise our time in Spain has been the main driver in my thinking.
I established the business (as Manchester Bass Lounge) in late 2011 as an antidote to poor service and poor buying experiences I had experienced as a consumer and the GBBL trading model has simply been based upon my own idealised ‘trying and buying experience’.
It was all supposed to remain tiny and sell only preowned gear but things took off unexpectedly and, well….here we are today, still growing around 20% year on year. GBBL now needs taking to the next level – bigger (commercial) premises, online sales, credit finance, bigger social media ideas etc. However, given the circumstances outlined above I’ve decided that I’m not the person to take it there. Its very much an ‘oven ready’ business with a potent and respected brand identity that now needs to be unleashed fully in order to achieve its maximum potential.
It would be nice to think that, as opposed to simply ‘fade away’, the business now has sufficient momentum, reputation and market presence to attract potential buyers – either to take GBBL to that next level or integrate it (maybe as a brand within a brand) into an existing business.
Regarding timescale, a sale is by no means a certainty so the business will gradually wind down its trading operations over a 12-15 month period so we’re not going to disappear anytime soon. All outstanding custom bass orders are safe and we will still be able to order anything in, that’s not in stock, from any of the brands that we offer, whether that be basses, amplification or accessories.
GBBL has been a late-career delight for me but it has absorbed a serious amount of my time and one of the retirement benefits I look forward to is to get back to playing bass (I joke not) and concentrating on making music again.
The last few years have fostered some lovely relationships and I’m sure that some will become permanent ones, I hope so and I look forward to seeing many of you again in the interim period when there may be the odd ‘good deal’ to be had!