Well my Roland account didn't last long!
Regulars will know I was keen to help my Godin synth guitar customers purchase the GR55 (synth & effects) to go alongside but it seems Roland don't allow access to the GR55 unless you want to stock your shop full of compact pedals (40!).
My gut instinct is that maybe BOSS have been hit from two sides. You have the software based effects now which are pretty much FREE via ipads etc. and then you have the boutique pedals which are so much nicer than BOSS at the other end. No doubt in order to maintain sales of BOSS pedals Roland are now forcing their dealers to stock up on unwanted compacts to gain access to the gear they want.
Roland clearly have no interest in "specialists" who cater for specific areas of the guitar world - they simply want "representation" so the supermarkets (I mean guitar shops) have what the customer asks for when they come in.
I always use the analogy of Toys R Us! If you want to FIND a toy - then sure - you will find it at Toys R Us. If you want information and advice on a toy the LAST place I would go is Toys R Us! So are they a specialist? Well no doubt if they wanted to sell Roland products they would be categorized as such.
Anyway - rant over. I can now get back to doing what I do best - talking about guitars and not getting involved in the BS of UK dealership politics.
Oh and as for the best price on the GR55? At time of posting £403 from Thomann.