World Wide sales for musical instrument product categories  in which Gibson Guitar compete have dropped more than 20% in the US and most of the world in the first quarter of 2009.  While Gibson has continued to gain market share, the extent of the slowdown in retail purchases, and the uncertainty of when this market will recover mandates that Gibson makes changes to insure the size of our organization is appropriate for the anticipated sales levels.  This large drop in purchases is being experienced in virtually all consumer product categories.

After implementing these changes, Gibson is positioned to continue to be profitable even under more severe stress, as it has been consistently since 1986.  It will allow the company to continue to maintain a conservative balance sheet and be positioned for continued market share expansion.

Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitar Inc. stated, ”We regret that the company had to reduce our work force to meet the economic challenges faced by our industry.  We believe our streamlined team of talented people will continue to serve our valuable customers in an increasingly excellent fashion.  We expect to continue to build the finest instruments in the world and lead the industry in quality and innovation.”

Gibson is known worldwide for producing classic models in every major style of fretted instrument, including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Gibson's HD.6X-PRO Digital Guitar and the Gibson Robot Guitar represent the biggest advances in electric guitar design in over 70 years. Founded in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and headquartered in Nashville since 1984, Gibson Guitar Corp.'s family of brands now includes Epiphone, Dobro, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Echoplex, Electar, Flatiron, Slingerland, Valley Arts, Maestro, Oberheim, Sunshine Piano, Take Anywhere Technology, Baldwin, J&C Fischer, Chickering, Hamilton, and Wurlitzer. Visit Gibson's website at www.gibson.com or www.gibson.com/press.


Gibson, 1-800-4GIBSON (1-800-444-2766); www.gibson.com

Contacts:
Caroline Galloway, Gibson Guitar Corp., 615.423.4904, caroline.galloway@gibson.com
Maureen O'Connor, Rogers & Cowan, 310.854.8116, moconnor@rogersandcowan.com