This is sad to see but not entirely surprising. I've always wanted to get myself a Gibson but truth be told, they don't provide lower-end equipment which drastically reduces their customer base. Yes you can buy an Epiphone that looks like a Les Paul but you're not getting a Gibson. Unlike Ibanez which will have guitars from £300 RGs to £6000 signature models from the likes ofor , Gibson has a rather limited range of prices which start just north of what many amateur guitar players can afford.
It also occurs to me that they seem to always rely on the prestige of their name and year after year simply release variations on the same models of Les Pauls, SG, Explorers and ES. I also rarely see endorsements from Gibson, Slash has a few signature models but you don't tend to see "trendy" players being endorsed by them, which gives the impression that they are generally quite detached from the larger community of guitar players (and do I remember correctly that they weren't even at NAMM this year? Though this might have been because of those financial troubles).
Still, I think if they allowed themselves to have the Gibson brand be for lower value models, diversify their catalogue with new designs and find artists that can act as ambassadors alongside Slash (admittedly, a huge name) they might find a way out of their troubles.
But then I'm no expert as the standard disclaimer goes…
Gibson, maker of famed Les Paul guitar, in Chapter 11 bankruptcy – CBS News
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