Guitar Center

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Guitar Center Reviews

Updated 29 September 2014
Updated 29 September 2014
330 Reviews
2.8
330 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Mike Pratt
80 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear, awesome connections to be made, and a new focus on the employee (in 31 reviews)

  • Above all, the employee discount; especially when you can start getting things off of GAIN (in 39 reviews)


Cons
  • It's minimum wage DRAWED against your commission(Fading) (in 28 reviews)

  • Very high turnover rate for salesmen and constant micro-managing by upper management (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    My experience working at Guitar Center was very memorable but I'm looking for better compensation and benefits.

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

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

    Pros

    If you're a musician then you would benefit from working at Guitar Center. You will have access to very helpful programs to help your promote music and discounts on all gear.

    Cons

    Some cons are low compensation, condensed work area, and excessive workload.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Great place to work.

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Very collaborative environment
    Work with musicians that still gig
    Promote from within

    Cons

    Reporting is not on par with other major retailers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    You get out of it what you put into it.

    • 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

    Pros

    This is a generally positive company with strong core values in an energetic environment. Very secure if you can perform well and always be willing to learn. Guitar Center is heading in a very positive direction due to their relatively new CEO who is bound and determined to make they company one of the most desirable places to work in the retail market.

    Cons

    It's not for everyone. You must be able to sell consistently, and your income is performance-based. In other words, if you aren't skilled at sales you won't make a decent paycheck. Also - and this depends on the person - it is generally a loud environment, as there are always several customers playing on various kinds of musical instruments in unison.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    It really is what you make of it

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Music gear and musicians around you all the time. At one time, here were free concert tickets and other perks. There are still deals on gear and the health insurance isn't bad.

    Cons

    If your direct supervisor doesn't think much of you, or would be lost without you, your chances for advancement are pretty slim.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Having one sale after another makes the company a joke and is from a bygone era. Modernize all of the company, not just parts.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great discounts, poor employee morale but great co-workers.

    • 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 3 years

    Pros

    To be around music everyday and others who feel the way you probably do is truly amazing

    Cons

    There is no possible way to carve out a decent living here. No way whatsoever. Even if somebody comes in with significant experience, amazing salesmanship, know how and years of experience as a respected touring musician, the system is oriented to keep the door revolving. There are lots of bodies out there that can sell music gear. Really too bad. I have friends ( co-workers), that stepped down from management back to sales because the financial rewards were not significant enough to compensate the increased responsibility. (not nearly).

    It definitely paints a very negative face on upper level management. I believe that they do not truly understand what their own potential is with great motivated professional people all on the same page store wide. For those reading this, I would seek out opportunity in smaller independent stores where you have the opportunity to make more of a difference. You won't make any more money at Guitar Center believe me. Also look at Sam Ash. I have several friends that have worked there for over 12 years, ( one over 15), doing great, respected and rewarded by management. Much better. I will probably stay here as I am entrenched for the time being, then go there myself! So see you at Sam Ash someday soon!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employ well rounded professionals that can create significant ROI and pay them for there know how, experience, team leadership and mentoring, and ability to generate substantial revenues. Stop focusing your strategy on the revolving door! There is a better way, you can become more profitable, who can increase the efficiency of operation and logistics but you are blinded as to how to do it!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Guitar Center

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Elite Sales Force  in  New Brunswick, NJ (US)
    Current Employee - Elite Sales Force in New Brunswick, NJ (US)

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

    Pros

    The discount is nice and the benefits are decent along with a 401k. The other sales associates are usually pretty cool as long as they aren't sharks and stealing your business.

    Cons

    There is really no management to speak to. They listen to what you have to say, but at the end of the day what ever corporate office has to say is what is law. There is a serious disconnect between sales people and upper management. Basically all they care about you selling is credit card applications and insurance. No one really cares about the gear, and no one appreciates you. The idea they have is well what have you done for me lately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop focusing so much on selling insurance and focus on the music. Thats why people used to shop there in the first place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    A Great Environment With One Major Downfall

    • 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 for more than 3 years

    Pros

    In my 3 years working with Guitar Center, I can easily say I've met some of the best people you could ask to work with. My Coworkers are people you never get tired of seeing everyday, which leads to an excellent work environment. Our store level managers are no exception, they have always been top notch and have always looked out for our best interests. The workplace has never been overly strict, and is always very relaxed. The benefits are solid and employee perks are just as good.

    All of my training from the time I began, all the way to becoming a manager in training, was always taught to me extremely well by my superiors. All of my concerns have always been heard and taken care of by my managers, even all the way up to our district manager who is just as great. I've never had an issue with needing flexible hours on certain days, and scheduling has always been phenomenal. I'm fortunate to not dread having to get up for work every morning of my life.

    Cons

    With the assortment of Pro's I've listed, you're probably wondering what leads me to giving Guitar Center a 2 Star rating? Well there is one major issue that GC has failed to address properly for years, Compensation and reward for store level employees. Before you dismiss my "typical" complaint, take a moment to read in full, the situation that this has caused for all of us.

    Guitar Center makes the vast majority of it's earnings off of money made at the physical retail store level. Employee motivation at the store level is the essential life blood of the company. Everything from selling gear, to credit cards, coverage plans, and more. Unfortunately the very poor compensation that Guitar Center provides these employees is what turns folks from hard working members of a team, to another statistic in the enormous turn-over ratio held by the company.

    I myself having been working for GC for 3 years, In that time I have received various awards, a promotion to manager in training and a few other accolades. My position requires me to be one of the most depended upon people in my store. I am constantly relied upon by my managers to complete tasks that unfortunately no one else in my department is qualified to complete. Where many companies properly recognize hard work, and motivation,Guitar Center essentially rewards you with nothing more than a pat on the back. In my 3 years, with the achievements I've gained,My time as an employee, and the store's overall reliability on my work, I make roughly $1.50 more than when I started.

    Looking at salaries of employees from various companies that work within the same fields as we do, It's no surprise that GC falls extremely short in terms of comparative compensation, all the way from new hires, to store managers. After a chain wide plan was generated in mid 2013 to restructure not only the compensation of employees, but the structure of store staffing, Many of us had regained some hope in the future of our company. After having been told in Spring of 2014 that this plan was to be expected in late summer of the same year, As soon as that time frame rolled around it was announced that the program had been delayed until 2015.

    Needless to say that in my entire time as an employee, I have never seen store wide motivation so low as it currently is. Hardly anyone is pushing to sell gear, or make any kind of goals that have been set for us.After talking amongst ourselves I've come to learn that at least 50%, if not more of our staff are currently seeking new employment. Usually this would present a problem to upper management correct? Wrong, Guitar Center has a extremely high turn-over ratio for a reason. It's not hard to imagine how many people would love to have a job at "Their favorite music store", so there is a huge pool of people who are willing to work for this company at any given moment.

    In a 3 year span I have seen countless hardworking people be forced to quit a job they love due to financial issues. Guitar Center may be a great place for you to work if you need a fun part time gig, without too much worry about money. If you're looking for a job to build a career, unfortunately this is not the place to do such. It's a shame that many employees (myself included) are having to look for new work, instead of continuing to do the work that we love to do on a daily basis, simply because we can't afford it, and feel under appreciated by a company that we have worked so hard to help succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of those who work so hard to help your company succeed, Plain and simple

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

Guitar Center Photos

GC Front
Guitar Wall
Cube land
Guitar Center # 322

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