Guitar Center Reviews

Updated 26 August 2014
Updated 26 August 2014
326 Reviews

2.8
326 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mike Pratt
76 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee (in 30 reviews)

  • Above all, the employee discount; especially when you can start getting things off of GAIN (in 36 reviews)


Cons
  • It's minimum wage DRAWED against your commission(Fading) (in 27 reviews)

  • The upper management is beholden to Bain Capital Partners (in 11 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Employed By The Center Of Guitars

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Commissions can be huge if you work hard. Merit based company; I myself became an Assistant Manager in 7 months which is pretty fast and I know guys who have done it faster. You'll usually deal with pretty cool people MOST of the time due to the fact that they're musicians. If you yourself are a musician then the employee discount is a major plus as well as the employee program called GAIN which is something you have to be a part of to know. You constantly learn more not only about gear but about yourself daily and what your limits are. Definitely builds character and will shape who you are for the for seen future. Full benefits, above minimum wage hourly, very flexible scheduling, and all around great atmosphere. A great vehicle to get where you want to be in life whether it be within the company or in the music industry. Connections to studios, producers, and heaps of people in the entertainment business. Equality is huge, HR issues are taking very serious, and discrimination is non existent. Very healthy work place along those matters.

    Cons

    High turnover is something that is slightly apparent throughout the company. GC is very much so a "what have you done for me as of late" not what have you proven yourself as type of company. It's retail so customers can be mean sometimes specially when they don't get the "deal" that they wanted but thats easy to deal with. Hours can be harsh at times depending on staffing and time of season but it is retail remember that. The "fade" system that the company is operating on as of right now can be a little grayish at times but I've never had a problem with it, only seen others. It can be ruff at times and if you can't handle multiple customers by yourself you'll probably sink.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The company is solid right now even after the Ares buyout and morale has gotten better since those bankruptcy rumors got dismissed. The uncertainty of when Phase 3 is rolling out chain wide is slightly discerning knowing that if traffic is slow next month my GP per hour will take a hit leading to less pay when it does. I love this company and put it first before anything, I just don't want to lose the vibe we have going on.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Nice people, awesome employee discount, most people are musicians, moderately interesting work

    Cons

    Poor benefits, some incompetent employees. Company feels top heavy with poor communication to lower level employees on company strategy and direction. Poor employee morale.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Easygoing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Easy and laid back company.

    Cons

    Most of the management is indecisive,

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Amazing

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Guitar Center

    Pros

    Amazing culture and attitude about music.

    Cons

    High sales goals, but I was in drums. So that explains that.

  6.  

    Working at Guitar Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Operations Associate  in  Tallahassee, FL (US)
    Former Employee - Operations Associate in Tallahassee, FL (US)

    I worked at Guitar Center part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get a feel for different people working in the music industry because they are often customers of Guitar Center.

    Cons

    The focus is on increasing sales, and the music gets lost in the mix.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the love of music at the center and your business will flourish with happier employees and customers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    You get back what you put in, direct supervisor allowing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It's a music-related gig, you may get your next job from a connection here if you aren't interested in continuing and good employees are afforded the opportunity to move around the country and still have a job. Health insurance isn't bad, but time off does get weird depending on where you work and your supervisor

    Cons

    There isn't the tremendous earning potential that there used to be. The company seems to have a bit of an identity crisis on what it wants to be sometimes. The retail/web crossover selling is one of the company's growing pains, which is hard for the people in the middle of it all right now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what the modern GC is going to be and just do it. No other retailer does the monster-truck radio ads anymore and only discount houses do a sale every month - get with the times and just stop it. It'll hurt at first, but ultimately it is better for the health of the company.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Guitar Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales and Assistant Manager  in  Northridge, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Sales and Assistant Manager in Northridge, CA (US)

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Awesome People, Great Commission, room for growth

    Cons

    Corporate policies, not always by the book, you can get fired for no reason.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    what can i say?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Meh...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Department Manager
    Current Employee - Department Manager

    I have been working at Guitar Center part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great discount, time off for touring musicians, ability to move up within the company

    Cons

    Minimum wage and commissions are being taken away, management tends to have double standards, high pressure to sell even when most of the time is spent doing hard labor like stocking and merchandising, management plays favorites with high sellers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat all employees equally. Pay better. Some employees do most of the merchandising and stocking while the others are selling, these employees need recognition for keeping the store looking ace at all times, and not being punished for writing low numbers.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Not what it's made out to be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales/Operations Associate  in  Beaverton, OR (US)
    Current Employee - Sales/Operations Associate in Beaverton, OR (US)

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some fun coworkers. You get to work with music all day if that's your thing. You can buy gear at cost with your employee discount.

    Cons

    Management only cares about the salesmen who make the most money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It's extremely difficult to move up. The pay is terrible and if you're not on commission, you won't make much more than minimum wage.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to hire more professional, trustworthy, mature, and knowledgable staff. You need to make sure that your leaders are willing to lead. Your company is failing and it has such a high turnover rate because you don't pay your staff very well.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    VP Marketing

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President Marketing  in  Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Vice President Marketing in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA (US)

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Guitar Center has built a well known Brand. If you are into the Music Industry you will get good exposure at the industry level

    Cons

    Getting killed by Amazon and online music retailers who better understand the space. Organization is managed day to day instead of for long term health. The current retail strategy of constant expansion has limits. Look at what has happened to Best Buy and other retails who begin to cannibalize their own markets.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The model is broken and Guitar Center will fail in the long run unless they embrace change. They are turning into a Best Buy, where people try a product before they buy it on Amazon. Stop advertising huge sales where 90% of the products are not subject to the sale terms, you will just upset your potential customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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