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Sweetwater Music bought by a Private Equity Firm| Founder & CEO just stepped down, next GC?
Old 1 week ago
  #301
Gear Head
 
Providence Equity entered as a growth equity minority partner.

Sweetwater was already planning the changes.

Providence Equity merely helped finance it in exchange for a share of the potential increase in profits that Sweetwater was aiming for. My local bar did this about 10 years ago. They allowed a guy to buy in 20% and he became the managing partner. His cash allowed them to make changes there and allowed them to have the extra cash to update another bar they own.

Growth equity is basically about investing in a company at the point where the firm is about to scale up. They invest in “what is already working” in exchange for a piece of the profit. A firm might go this route for any number of reasons. An owner might just want to easy glide into this phase of the business with some financial partners.

Think about two donut firms:

Dunkin and Krispy.

Krispy has a great product and scaled up with the help of growth equity, rather than their own cash or financing.

Dunkin had a failing product and was bought out rather than trying to fix the problem. They sucked both before and after.

Sometimes private equity helps. Sometimes it hurts. Depends.

Sweetwater is in krispy phase. Not Dunkin phase.

If Sweetwater changes, it’s because it wants to change. That’s the business plan they presented to private equity.


I’m trying to think of a company that grew to be masse but has stayed true to the original mission? Probably only financial services companies. Ironically.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #302
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1ferrari ➡️
Thank you for the citation and erudite reply. After reading this, my visceral reaction is that we have all been diminished.
well like I said, I don't take it personally. IMO, they don't really "have my number". I browse dozens of things and they probably sent all of them to the nearest warehouse and I only end up actually ordering some of them. Their system still works - for them - because the logistical savings averages out over the millions and millions of customers that they do this for.

I never worry about such stuff, because it's all abstract in the computer. For me to feel like they are spying on me, there would have to be a person reading my "file" - and that would be far too expensive. As well as unnecessary.

Sometimes I wish they were paying attention. Hey maybe the owners of this YouTube channel will realize that I quit in the middle of a video because they have too many ads, and they will feel bad and cut down on the interruptions! Wait, Joe! Come back!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #303
Gear Addict
 
c1ferrari's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
well like I said, I don't take it personally.
Such management is commendable. Indeed, for me, it's the unintended consequences which often thwart one's benign intent.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #304
It's just a business investment partner. I spoke with Sweetwater today. No drastic changes. Sweetwater will continue as before. Some rumors were floating about no more candy with the gear purchases. Those have been dispelled so if you have a sweet tooth, you will still get ya'r candy.

The Sweet card will also remain in place as it has been in the past.

There's a whole lot of misinformation out there regarding a loss of quality and other BS. So please, give them a call before posting nonsense.

Thanks!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #305
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatevs5000 ➡️
Providence Equity entered as a growth equity minority partner.
This article calls Providence Equity the majority owner, not a minority partner.
https://msretailer.com/sweetwater-so...aves-ceo-post/
Quote:
The news comes on the heels of a report that Providence Equity Partners is now the majority owner of the business, reported WANE-TV. In a comment to the Music Sound Retailer, a Sweetwater spokesperson said it would not issue a news release about the topic, but confirmed everything in the WANE report is accurate.
Seemed worth bringing this up, in the interest of avoiding misinformation.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #306
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgulian ➡️

>>>, I am vehemently at odds with Surack's politics
Wow I hadn't realized this, just looked it up. Absolutely pathetic. So thankful they were out of stock for a major purchase last year. I now hate that he was able to successfully cash out. Everyone avoid this place.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #307
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by c1ferrari ➡️
Thank you for the citation and erudite reply. After reading this, my visceral reaction is that we have all been diminished.
Why is it a bad thing that they're exceptionally well prepared for whatever their customers order?

"Diminished" would be "here's what we've got, here's when we can get it to you. Take it or leave it."

Its the opposite, a pedestalization of the customer, the most superior customer service yet. . why is that something to worry about?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #308
Gear Addict
 
c1ferrari's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's generally accepted that Sweetwater is a successful enterprise. There has been a substantive change at Sweetwater. It is not unreasonable to consider such change can/will be the cause for positive/negative effect on the employee and/or consumer.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #309
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatevs5000 ➡️
Providence Equity entered as a growth equity minority partner.

Sweetwater was already planning the changes.

Providence Equity merely helped finance it in exchange for a share of the potential increase in profits that Sweetwater was aiming for. My local bar did this about 10 years ago. They allowed a guy to buy in 20% and he became the managing partner. His cash allowed them to make changes there and allowed them to have the extra cash to update another bar they own.
A guy with cash to invest in a local bar is not the same as a Private Equity firm, who don't buy 20% and become managing partners. PE firms don't want to run or be part of a running business. They buy into companies to sell them off at a profit, like a house flipper but with a seven year plan instead of one year. And as been pointed out, Providence Equity bought in as a majority owner, not as a growth equity minority partner. They intend to do what PE firms do, which is flip it, not help a business grow while being a managing partner. That may be what some people do but it's not what PE firms do.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #310
Deleted 2be7eae
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
Wow I hadn't realized this, just looked it up. Absolutely pathetic. So thankful they were out of stock for a major purchase last year. I now hate that he was able to successfully cash out. Everyone avoid this place.
Because you don't agree with his politics? The religious zealotry in our culture is sometimes mind boggling. News flash - not everyone has to think the same.
Old 1 week ago
  #311
Gear Addict
 
agstreyiii's Avatar
Nothing to do with the subject of this forum just a warning for people considering buying a product from this company that Sweetwater carries reluctantly. behringer sucks don't buy anything from'em that was made after they moved their operations to chiner from Germany folks
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #312
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Mike Lindell called! Someone ate his pillow; and he wants it back!


I have used Sweetwater for many many years. Always had an excellent experience. Had their card. Never missed a payment. Never late on making payments. Always paid early. Wasn't maxed out! Last year when Covid was at a high point, got a letter from the bank that handles their accounts and poof, just like that, my Sweetwater account was closed. And, I had a decent amount of available credit to use. So, basically, cause people were being laid off left and right, they panicked and then just closed out my account when I was in perfectly good standing. Well, of course if this happened to me then I am guessing it happened to others. No way to know 100%. But, something seemed to happen. And, now, every time I go to their website, all I see for everything that I am interested in is "more on order" or "more on the way" or "out of stock. we have a special relationship with _______ and are working hard....blah blah blah". Etc... Now, I don't mean to suggest that they are out of everything. They still have software and that kind of stuff available for download but with a freaking warehouse bigger than my home town, why is it they don't seem to have much product to sell? I look at other websites and see items in stock. Sorry, not trying to pick on Sweetwater but it's just frustrating that every time I go and want to possibly purchase something, they don't have it. It just takes me longer now as I either have to save the money or use a different card. So, my business has been going elsewhere! No big deal for me as I can get what I want but too bad things had to turn out the way they did with a company that I actually liked using doing business with.
Old 1 week ago
  #313
Gear Addict
 
agstreyiii's Avatar
I'm aware and not surprised at that in the least bit. This has been posted before but I just have to add. I haven't purchased anything from them in almost thirty years but still have stayed on their mailing list as such. Then out of the blue I was sent an email by a sales associate that said that anything purchased before '93 they no longer had a record of. So I preceded to put in a call to a technical associate & was told the same except that no records were available from before '91 and if I wanted technical advice for an old product that he could arrange a conference call with AM&S then acted like this was going to happen put me on hold and then never returned to my call so I hung up. Change is definitely looming on the horizon for this place. Something's amiss as they have always been very accommodating until then...Hmm...folks





¡'All Hail Kurzweil!'¡'Long Live V.A.S.T. !' Thanx for your genius RayK.&HalC.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #314
Gear Addict
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
Wow I hadn't realized this, just looked it up. Absolutely pathetic. So thankful they were out of stock for a major purchase last year. I now hate that he was able to successfully cash out. Everyone avoid this place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 2be7eae ➡️
Because you don't agree with his politics? The religious zealotry in our culture is sometimes mind boggling. News flash - not everyone has to think the same.
Politics AND religion. Watch it guys!
If everybody boycotted every company they disagreed with, commerce would shut down.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #315
Deleted 2be7eae
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 28 ➡️
Politics AND religion. Watch it guys!
If everybody boycotted every company they disagreed with, commerce would shut down.
Specifically, what are asking me to be careful about? I'm neither spouting politics or religion.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #316
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 2be7eae ➡️
Because you don't agree with his politics? The religious zealotry in our culture is sometimes mind boggling. News flash - not everyone has to think the same.
Because he turns around and spends your money attempting to limit people’s rights and make their lives more miserable, which is fundamentally anti-American and has no place in civilized society.

You can think differently in a million ways, this isn’t about diversity of thinking, it’s about specifically f’ing with people’s lives for no reason. This “think differently” stuff is a mindless irrelevant retort designed to disrupt and distract and muddy the waters, a pathetic attempt to excuse actions that serve no purpose but to make people’s lives more miserable for no good reason.

A list of some of his donation records from the FEC: https://mobile.twitter.com/blackknol...911489?lang=en
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #317
Deleted 2be7eae
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
Because he turns around and spends your money attempting to limit people’s rights and make their lives more miserable, which is fundamentally anti-American and has no place in civilized society.

You can think differently in a million ways, this isn’t about diversity of thinking, it’s about specifically f’ing with people’s lives for no reason. This “think differently” stuff is a mindless irrelevant retort designed to disrupt and distract and muddy the waters, a pathetic attempt to excuse actions that serve no purpose but to make people’s lives more miserable for no good reason.

A list of some of his donation records from the FEC: https://mobile.twitter.com/blackknol...911489?lang=en
You are so brainwashed. This is why this country is in such trouble. Too many people on the right and the left drinking the Kool-aid of their respective religions (oops, I meant political parties). Yes, try thinking for yourself instead of allowing the media to do it for you.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #318
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Guru ➡️
It's just a business investment partner. I spoke with Sweetwater today. No drastic changes. Sweetwater will continue as before. Some rumors were floating about no more candy with the gear purchases. Those have been dispelled so if you have a sweet tooth, you will still get ya'r candy.

The Sweet card will also remain in place as it has been in the past.

There's a whole lot of misinformation out there regarding a loss of quality and other BS. So please, give them a call before posting nonsense.

Thanks!
As someone who has been through numerous ownership changes over the years, I can tell you they all say "nothing is going to change". It's a soft lie that every business tells when ownership changes. Reverb/Etsy said the same thing before they started soaking their user base.

What they mean is... "Nothing is going to change on this exact date today". And in 99% of all cases the changes coming and coming soon... You can bet your azz that changes were planned by the PE during the acquisition phase. Pretty much every PE firm buys companies because they believe those companies are 'undervalued' and additional value above market returns can be wrung out of the operation via implementing changes. Otherwise, they'd just invest in an S&P500 index fund.

FWIW, I could care less what happens with Sweetwater. They screwed me with their 'no hassle retrun policy' several years ago. Then after they noticed I suddenly stopped spending several thousands a year with them, they reached out in a veiled attempt to make me whole by giving me a 'discount' on a future purchase in the exact amount they screwed me on. I took that discount on a planned purchase to recoup the money they owed me and haven't done business with them since. I'd rather buy through a company with a real 'no hassle' retrun policy... Amazon.

SW does have a great website though, happy to use it for researching purchases that I'll make with their competitors.

Last edited by billinder33; 1 week ago at 05:33 PM..
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #319
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 2be7eae ➡️
You are so brainwashed. This is why this country is in such trouble. Too many people on the right and the left drinking the Kool-aid of their respective religions (oops, I meant political parties). Yes, try thinking for yourself instead of allowing the media to do it for you.
Another general and mindless reply. Nothing to do with the media, he puts his money toward bigotry and anti-freedom (https://t.co/RYTzOAlwnz?amp=1, click "amount" for the high dollar donations to rise to the top). I regret ever giving them a dime and am thankful they were out of stock on everything last year when I made some larger purchases.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #320
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 28 ➡️
If everybody boycotted every company they disagreed with, commerce would shut down.
~50% of adults are mostly apolitical, so I find this highly unlikely. There are always boycotts, and rarely does any boycotted company go out of business. I can't even fathom how Wells Fargo actually has any customers left given that they were blatantly and very publicly caught ripping them off; their continued existence highlights how disengaged the average consumer is against the backdrop of all the constant media screeching.

Occasionally boycotts do change their behavior though... Chick Filet and Papa John's are a couple that come to mind. Corporate change really only happens when people vote with their wallets.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #321
Gear Addict
 
My previous salesman called me at least monthly. He was a fellow radio ham, so that was cool. They assigned me a different person now, and he only follows up after purchases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYN ➡️
I used to hate getting the follow up or random phone calls, too. I just asked my SW rep to notate on my account to only contact me through email or text and it's been copacetic ever since.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #322
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➡️
Never mind the warehouse: Someone recently predicted that they will soon start shipping stuff to you before you order it. Of course with the option to send it back for free.
not likely

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...dered-products

"As for products that show up that you never ordered, you don’t have to pay for them. Federal laws protect you."
Old 1 week ago
  #323
Gear Addict
 
drsaamah's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
It's amazing that when person A expresses the desire to not spend their money at a particular business, person B cries about their own freedom being infringed on...
Americans are certainly brainwashed, but not in the manner that the loudest seem to think.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #324
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 28 ➡️
Politics AND religion. Watch it guys!
If everybody boycotted every company they disagreed with, commerce would shut down.
Actually, voting with your wallet is often far more effective than anything you get do on the first Tuesday in November. You do need to be very disciplined and stay informed. I was boycotting something and looked to buy an alternative product and upon further investigation, it turned out both products were different marks of the same parent company. I had to find a third brand which put me out a bit. IMO, worth it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #325
Deleted 2be7eae
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by drsaamah ➡️
It's amazing that when person A expresses the desire to not spend their money at a particular business, person B cries about their own freedom being infringed on...
Americans are certainly brainwashed, but not in the manner that the loudest seem to think.
Hilarious...
Person A called for everyone to stop spending their money at said business.
Person B never said anything remotely like this. Person B doesn't even think like this. Yet another example of media causing you to think a certain way by linking me in with everyone else you've been taught to hate.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #326
Deleted 2be7eae
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 ➡️
Another general and mindless reply. Nothing to do with the media, he puts his money toward bigotry and anti-freedom (https://t.co/RYTzOAlwnz?amp=1, click "amount" for the high dollar donations to rise to the top). I regret ever giving them a dime and am thankful they were out of stock on everything last year when I made some larger purchases.
Where's the bigotry? Be specific, and it can't just be support of a political party you disagree with. If you're right, I'll stop buying from them today.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 2be7eae ➡️
Where's the bigotry? Be specific, and it can't just be support of a political party you disagree with. If you're right, I'll stop buying from them today.


Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #328
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 2be7eae ➡️
Where's the bigotry? Be specific, and it can't just be support of a political party you disagree with. If you're right, I'll stop buying from them today.
Limiting people's rights because they belong to a group that doesn't sit right with some people is the definition of bigotry.

Young, Banks, Stutzman, and the IRSC were all fighting against gay marriage rights and LGBTQ rights at the time the Sweetwater owner was funneling all that money to them. This is when it was both an Indiana issue (when many corporations pulled out of the state or spoke out loudly against their actions) and a national issue (was only nationally legalized in 2015, which is ridiculous and due to a long history of bigotry.). The list of rights-denials go deeper, but that's enough to demonstrate the claim.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #329
Everything you disagree with is categorized as "bigotry" or some other "ism?"

Last edited by Mac808; 1 week ago at 11:57 PM.. Reason: fixup
Old 1 week ago
  #330
Gear Head
 
Oh I just saw this …

Chuck Surack, Founder and CEO of Sweetwater, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Providence to help accelerate our next phase of growth and bring the ‘Sweetwater Difference’ to even more customers. I am incredibly proud of the growth our company achieved over the last year, which would not have been possible without the dedication of our employees and world-class team of music gear experts. I am confident this growth equity investment will allow us to reach new heights and further our mission of enabling customers to make music and pursue their dreams.”
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