The End of Guitar Center

Eric Garland Guitar Center, Retail Trends 372 Comments

This is an obituary for Guitar Center, a chain of big box musical instrument stores that was captured and infected by private equity during a national trend of greed and reckless expansionism in the late-1990s and early-2000s. The company started as a Los Angeles organ store, became a successful purveyor of guitars after the Beatles arrived in the United States, …

Guitar Center and the magical growth curve

Eric Garland Guitar Center, Retail Trends 3 Comments

It is time for an update on one of America’s most original and exciting retailers, Guitar Center, the operation that epitomizes American business in 2014, with all that this implies. If you’ve never read my work on Guitar Center, click here and get caught up. Don’t take too much time, because something new and insane might be announced. Ready? Here’s …

The bigger story of how private equity corrupts

Eric Garland Finance Trends, Guitar Center 1 Comment

The other day I was talking with a friend of mine who does intelligence for large corporations. We were discussing my latest on Guitar Center’s subprime bond hustle and she said, “You should talk with Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism – her work on private equity suckering pension funds like CalPERS is a lot like what you are uncovering.” Six …

How to get beyond the parasite economy

Eric Garland Business Trends, Economic trends, Finance Trends, Greatest Hits, Guitar Center

It is the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday, and I am thinking about Guitar Center. If the above sentence appears strange to you, we are in the same boat. I do not know how bizarre and random your life appears to you, but mine is definitely some sort of mysterious fractal. About four months ago, I was …