Guitar Center
2.6 of 5 302 reviews
www.guitarcenter.com Westlake Village, CA 5000+ Employees

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 302 reviews

                             

69% Approve of the CEO

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Mike Pratt

(68 ratings)

35% of employees recommend this company to a friend
90 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Get your gear and get out

    Assistant Manager (Former Employee)
    Raritan, NJ

    ProsDiscounts on gear are great, employees on the sales floor were friendly and like-minded musicians, can play guitar/keyboard when the store is slow, hour breaks

    ConsHigh stress, commissioned job where you have to fade against the hours you work. Store managers are cooped up in the office running reports and going on call-meetings and don't appreciate what you do unless your numbers are good. Very high turnover rate for salesmen and constant micro-managing by upper management. Poorly outlined promotion path. Most promotions are twice the responsibilities for a 5-10% raise in your potential commission. If you're a department or assistant manager and you don't fade you are making the same or less than people you are in charge of. Also the company is buried under massive debt and has been losing money for a number of years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRestructure hierarchy, micro manage less, and show your employees you appreciate them rather than telling everyone that they are replaceable if their numbers aren't up to par.

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

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    Unprofessional

    Sales Associate (Former Employee)
    Hollywood, FL

    ProsGood money if you put in the Work
    Amazing discounts

    Consrude employees, sharks, unmoral, unprofessional

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo the right thing for the right reasons, Learn professionality

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Worked too hard for too little

    Sales Manager (Former Employee)

    ProsDiscounts on product, no stress of commission

    ConsHorrible salary, bad hours, no bonus structure

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your non-general managers better. General managers received big time bonuses and incentives, while sales managers do all the grunt work.

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

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    A good place to work if you don't have a family to support.

    Anonymous (Former Employee)

    ProsThe discount for musicians is a big reason why some work at GC, especially the part timers. Commissions for the good salespeople is a benefit. As long as your in the top 5 of the store, you're probably making ok money for retail.

    ConsThe company puts on a face that they care about the employees, but in reality they just want to get in Fortune magazine as part of the bigger plan to go public. Upper management is also in constant fear of the Union and it puts a lot of pressure on them to make decisions that are based off of fear more than fact. They don't trust their employees, in fact Store Managers can't even write their own schedules any more without upper management approving it first. The company publicly states that they want to make things better for employees but from the inside they don't show any loyalty to those who have been really running the company all these years, the frontline store employees. At the end of the day it's all about the dollar. Even with these phase 3 rollouts. In the immediate it might be an investment and no one will be making "minimum wage" anymore (woohoo), but the long term goal is not on the employees side but for self interest to make hitting their payroll numbers more achievable. If you want to be in upper management or even the store manager level, be prepared to pull 50-60 work weeks if you want to earn the respect of your supervisors. Like I said before, if your single and a workaholic then this is the place for you. I could go on with the politics, but I won't. If you are

    Advice to Senior ManagementDoesn't matter. Management only listens when they feel threatened by the Union, otherwise they will most likely write this off as the bottom 30% statistic upper management acknowledges as "detractors" in their company.

    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 waste your time

    Guitar Center Sales Associate (Current Employee)
    Buffalo, NY

    ProsI like some of the people I work with, flexible scheduling because nobody really cares, there's supposed to be a dress code but you can pretty much wear whatever and DISCOUNTS.

    ConsWhere to start? The company is incredibly inefficient and it always feels like a competition when dealing with other stores or our online sales associates. The pay structure is pretty abysmal and the amount of grief you're going to be given every single day from customers with cadillac taste and a civic budget or those that just think you don't know anything isn't worth the hassle. It's a job that does require specialized knowledge of gear, but no one wants to pay you for that knowledge. I'd recommend taking your resume to your most local grocery store and giving it to them. I guarantee they'll pay you more and you don't have to deal with the people trying to cut your throat.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your employees more and cut the competition between brick and mortar stores and the online business.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Employees are not commodities.

    Assistant, Sales, and Store Manager (Current Employee)
    Los Angeles, CA

    ProsIt was great to work around like minded people and cool music gear - totally a gearhead's paradise.

    ConsOnce the company went private, policies changed from employee-growth centric operations that were horribly managed to profit centric policies that were vindictively managed. This company completely forgot that the difference between specialty brick and mortar retail and online specialty retail is an in-person expert and started spending less on salespeople. Which basically means the sales talent went from mediocre to just plain idiocy.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit spending money on people who tell you to save money on the front line workforce and start spending that money on the frontline workforce. How you pay your salespeople is not what is making your performance weak, so quit changing how you pay your salespeople every chance you get.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Guitar Center remains a very young company internally. Lacking in maturity in Organizational structure and processes.

    Systems & SupplyChain Manager (Former Employee)
    Westlake Village, CA

    ProsCompany discounts on music equipment. Health benefits. Time off if you are a musician to perform. Many good people to work with.

    ConsPoor leadership at the top which creates an overall atmosphere which lacks unity. No focus or direction long term. Lack of awareness at the top levels of the overall Management weakness. Very inconsistent levels of management practice at all levels. Some good managers and others behavior off the charts in terms of lack of ethical behavior, abuse. Because there isn't an environment that supports growth and development one mistake can get you thrown under the bus. The focus is not on developing talent. It's on holding on to your turf.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring in an outside consulting company to properly assess the existing management bench. Make the tough calls and clean house where needed and build a foundation with solid processes and measurements. Invest in good quality performance reviews. Invest in your people in terms of training and development. Don't support bad managers. Get input from the lower ranks of the organization and evaluate were there are opportunities for changes.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Sales Associate

    Sales Associate (Former Employee)
    Kirkland, WA

    ProsAbove all, the employee discount; especially when you can start getting things off of GAIN. Networking is really great here, especially when you give attention to vendors. Acquiring NFR (not for resale) copies of software for free was really cool, too. I suppose I should say that your co-workers can be a pro, as well.

    ConsThe company cares more about how much money they can make off of its customers than building a loyal customer base. I rebelled against this as much as I could, as I am much more customer service driven, and would have eventually been fired had I not put in my two weeks. To this day I have refused to purchase anything from the company, and, instead, turn my sales and support to smaller shops.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe biggest thing for me is to get rid of commission-based sales. Aside from making everyone in the company fight over sales, the numbers you want your employees to achieve make it very difficult for the hardworking people to receive a decent paycheck because only the sleazy car salesman types will happily sell customers extra items they don't need. Customers hate being badgered about add-ons, especially so when the company wants you to ask multiple times. You should also be rewarding your employees that are working harder than the rest with pay increases, rather than an increase in their commission sales percentage. That is a better incentive for people to want to stay, and would likely decrease your revolving door situation.

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

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    Employees underpaid, poor morale.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGear discounts, awesome coworkers, fun atmosphere.

    ConsAwful pay, corporate mentality that cares only about numbers, not lives.

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    You can buy better equipment elsewhere

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsOther than the discount on gear nothing.

    Consmicro management, very clique oriented, you will be harassed for menial things

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

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