I'd assume that with Covid, many more people have got used to ordering guitars, unseen, over the net.

I a not sure what the retailer's mark up is, but it must be considerable.

Whilst there may always be a role or shops or showrooms I think it is only a matter of time before a major manufacturer starts selling direct to the public. Not only would this cut a sizable % from the cost it would enable them to be much more in touch with the customer.

The disadvantages might be that of alienating large retailers, also I imagine the hassle of the customer service end of dealing with complaints/returns should not be underestimated.

But I would rather go direct to say Martin Co or Ernie Ball knowing that all my cash was going to the company that actually made the instrument not to various intermediaries - it's psychological.