Guitar Center
2.6 of 5 270 reviews
www.guitarcenter.com Westlake Village, CA 5000+ Employees

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 270 reviews

                             

67% Approve of the CEO

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Mike Pratt

(52 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
270 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Awesome discounts on gear and gig leave with the gain program"
    in 24 reviews
  • "The employee discount is great, something like cost plus a small percent"
    in 31 reviews
Cons:
  • "It's minimum wage DRAWED against your commission(Fading)"
    in 23 reviews
  • "It's a Commission based shark tank"
    in 10 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Approves of CEO

 

Guitar Center can either be a family environment or difficult to work in.

Pro Audio Specialist (Current Employee)
Brea, CA (US)

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

ProsGreat place to network with communities.
Great environment when team is well manicured.
Audio knowledge can and should grow exponentially.
My newest store manager is for making the store a special and unique location.

ConsSelling is the utmost goal of the corporate structure.
There is no upward movement unless you can sell.
Some employees are slackers, etc.

Advice to Senior ManagementUtilize your employees full potential with side projects and incentive programs to move around faster in the company.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Former Guitar center employee

Assistant Manager (Current Employee)
Kirkland, WA (US)

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

ProsLearned a lot about gear, met a lot of great people. Decent gear discounts.

ConsMiddle management can be purgatory if you are not willing to "move anywhere, anytime". Terrible selection these days, products needs to be more catered to the service area. If you want to move up to be a store manager or above you have to submit to upper management that you are willing to be uprooted and placed in a store anywhere in the country.

Advice to Senior ManagementQuit treating the Music products industry like a commodity. These are lifestyle products and moving boxes doesn't necessarily make musicians. Treat employees like people, not machines.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great, friendly, helpful environment

Sales Associate (Current Employee)
Fort Collins, CO (US)

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

ProsEveryone that works for Guitar Center is generally passionate about music and very friendly and helpful. Everyone is not just trying to make a sale but they are trying to help people get into music or follow their passions. Love working for them

ConsThe pay could be better. The Guitar technician, at least at our store, is overworked to death! The clienteling that we have to do is pretty annoying and some of the corporate guidlines we have to adhere to are annoying, too. Nothing that bad though.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great entry level job for the go getter.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Guitar Center

ProsThe better you are at selling the more money you make.

ConsYou have to work weekends and late nights if you want to be at the best sales times.

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  • Culture & Values
         
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Cool job with great perks but not guaranteed hours

Studios Associate (Former Employee)
Emeryville, CA (US)

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

Pros-huge discount on gear.

That was the only perk of working there. I can't remember the exact percent but its a pretty big discount.

Cons-Not a lot of hours
- A lot of employees have no communication
- A lot of work for little pay

Was very disappointed of the hours I was getting. At one point, I was working one day a week. Not cool.

Advice to Senior ManagementRaise the hourly pay for the amount of work.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great for discounts, manager very unprofessional

Sales Associate (Former Employee)

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

ProsThe diversity of customers, crazy discounts, going to NAMM, working with fun instruments

Conspromotions, company values, pay is very low for the amount of work entailed, pretty sexist

Advice to Senior Managementbe more respectful to your employees and appreciate the work they do for you! Managers need to be the examples not the exceptions. Also news flash: women are great musicians too. Value them as customers and employees and you might avoid being sued in the next decade.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Compensation comes in many forms...

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Guitar Center

ProsFun atmosphere, customers, and coworkers. Low stress and great employee discounts.

ConsNo annual raises. Usually have to work weekends if you want a decent paycheck, but such is the retail world.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Headed in the right direction

Assistant Manager (Current Employee)
Los Angeles, CA (US)

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

ProsGreat discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee

ConsThe commission structure is hard at first, but it's gets better and they're actively working to improve the compensation model.

Advice to Senior ManagementA focus on the employee's happiness is good for business

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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  • Disapproves of CEO

 

NOT for Long Term: No 401K matching, No Bonus, 5 Days Vacation, 6 Company Holidays

General Manager (Current Employee)
Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA (US)

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

Pros1. Great people to work with. made lots of real friends
2. Good discounts on gears if you are, or have musician friends/family.
3. I couldn't think of anything else.

Cons1. Weak Leadership
- Senior leadership has changed a lot. With more than industry average leadership turnover, one can infer the direction the company is heading to. Need I say more?

2. Average Salary, Benefits Suck
(and yes, they wanted to be the one of the Best Companies to Work for in America by 2020! talk about irony at its best).
- No 401K matching
- No Bonus for the past few years
- 5 Days Vacation (unless you negotiate for more during job offer)
- 6 Company Holidays (yes we work on Eve of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, etc. )
- 6 Sick days (and very strict)
- No Budget for Training or Career Advancement
- High Deductible and High Copay Medical Insurance (almost like a "pretend" medical benefit)
- the list goes on

3. Several Layers of Middle to Upper Management
- Way too many Directors, VPs, SVPs.
- Slow decisions and tendency of some to micromanage can be very frustrating. I am not even sure what other Senior Managers functions are and why are they there and how they got promoted to that position.
- Some are incompetent and will make you feel they are the "boss"

4. High Turnover Rate
- People are either leaving for greener pastures or getting fired. Only the avid musicians or those that don't have many options stick around.

5. Untrusting Work Environment
- No Work from Home privileges even for Technology Department (where you can do your job equally good remotely)
- Managers tend to micromanage and almost asking you "how did this happen?" or "who dropped the ball?"
- High expectation and low rewards

Advice to Senior Management- Listen to not only your customers but to your employees. Boost the morale of employees by giving them an environment that brings out the best in their talents and reward them with competitive benefits.
- Revisit Management Level Structure. You only need at the minimum, one director and one VP per department.
- Listening to the new CEO speak is like listening to a politician. Great motivational speaker but out of touch. All "feel-good rah rah rah" but lacking in the tactical how and when.
- HR is a puppet department. They don't care about your 401K, holidays, vacation, medical insurance etc. We got suggestion boxes all over the office but None of them gets heard.
- Be realistic. How can you become one of the best places to work for in America by 2020 if you don't care about your employees?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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don't bother

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

ProsThere are some great people working here, and the employee discounts are pretty epic. There are plenty of opportunities for music industry hook-ups, and, of you are in the right department, you can have a good time.

ConsManagement doesn't have a clue. Upper management has a strong sense of entitlement--which translates into a "their way or a highway" approach to everything. The worse the strategy or concept, the stronger that entitlement becomes.

Advice to Senior ManagementGood luck with your debt load.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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