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 …

Guitar Center’s real problem: their customers are broke

Eric Garland Business Trends, Economic trends, Greatest Hits, Guitar Center, Retail Trends 17 Comments

Stephen Nellis at the Pacific Coast Business Times wrote a nice article about why Guitar Center’s future hangs in the balance of this last Christmas’ results and the debt-for-equity play by its major creditor. It is a nice summary of what has gone on so far, with a couple of opposing perspectives from Paul Majeski, the publisher of Music Trades …

WSJ: Guitar Center to be acquired by its major creditor

Eric Garland Guitar Center, Retail Trends 30 Comments

Oh, Guitar Center. Back in November. I wrote a casual post about how their junk bond status would mean the company wasn’t doing great, much in the way that when your car is repo’d, you’re not too wealthy. It went viral. 150,000 views in five days. Their executives and employees protested. Oh, how they protested. They hatemailed. Crawled onto my …

Guitar Center and how not to respond to a viral blog post

Eric Garland Greatest Hits, Guitar Center 12 Comments

The way Guitar Center has responded to a simple blog post going viral is going to go down in business textbooks – but not the way they are hoping. Two weeks ago I was a good, regular customer of theirs, albeit one who wrote a brief piece about how big box, mass-market retail was in trouble. This week, my article …