Guitar Center

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Guitar Center Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 307 reviews

70% Approve of the CEO

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Mike Pratt

(69 ratings)

35% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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 35 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)

307 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
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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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    1 person found this helpful  

    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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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great Place to Work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsEmployee discount! Jam sessions, and other fun employee activities. Room for growth. Young atmosphere. Casual dress.

    ConsSome incompetent co-workers. Bad coffee. Not much else that's bad! Same small problems that all other corporate jobs entail.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay closer attention to who's actually doing the work and who's skating by.

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    Great Culture

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Brownsburg, IN

    ProsGreat Culture - they value having fun while getting the job done

    ConsNot much room for advancement

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Expected

    Accessories Sales (Current Employee) Orlando, FL

    ProsThe atmosphere and the people who work with you tend to be more awesome than not

    ConsPay is laughable even for the top-selling salesmen, personal growth within the company was constantly hindered by management.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Former EMployee

    Sales Associate (Former Employee) West Covina, CA

    ProsGreat education on new products, hands on experience, Its retail sales, get paid on how hard you hustle. Merchandising reps in often to keep you updated on new gear launching.

    ConsRetail Hours so the schedule is gonna be scattered, work weekends and of course holidays. Days off during the week.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIncrease your hourly

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

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Get ready for one of the most unique retail experiences ever.

    Store Manager (Former Employee) Concord, CA

    ProsEmployee discounts rule and they work around your schedule if you play out often.

    ConsThe store manager sets the mood for the store. Find a store that you enjoy going in to and see if employees are happy. If not, the store manager probably sucks.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake sure everyone knows the core values and principles. If not, your entire team will not be aligned.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great coworkers. Terrible company.

    Assistant Manager (Former Employee) Saint Paul, MN

    ProsDiscounts on gear. Generally great coworkers with similar interests. Decent amount of training on gear, though it's largely dependent on self-motivation.

    ConsPay structure is terrible. It's like working at a used car lot from the 80's. Because of this, it leads to a daily decision: do I sell whatever makes me the most money, or what the customer needs? Management generally encouraged us to do the former. And if we didn't, we struggled to pay the bills.

    It's LOUD. On purpose. To create "vibe." I still shudder when I walk into a store with loud music. Gives me a gross feeling in the gut of my stomach, remembering my days at GC.

    I worked for GC for 2.5 years at locations in 2 states, and both stores were similar. NICE guys in management, but the overall consensus among employees was that we worked for a company that didn't care about us.

    My years at GC did give me a few good things. Some pretty good gear. Some friends I wouldn't have made otherwise. And the motivation I needed to return to grad school and finish my masters.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your employees a decent, non-commission hourly wage. Study Apple Retail (went from GC to Apple for 4 years while saving for school). No one at Apple is paid on commission, and they still sell a lot of stuff. GC MANAGEMENT, your products excite people. They sell themselves. (Like Apple.) Pull the pressure off the employees, which in turn pulls the pressure off the customer, which means you will sell more stuff. I know you guys do test market stuff all the time. Try it. If I was making $15/hr selling pro audio gear (without having to fret over my paycheck), I would have stayed there much longer, and I suspect many more folks would be the same.

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

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good experience, but limited room for advancement from entry level positions

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe starting position of salesman is a good job for anyone under 21 or so. Any older than that and you're gonna start looking elsewhere because there's really nowhere to get promoted to, unless you're a great salesman and know how to work the system.

    ConsBad pay in entry level positions. If you're any good at sales, look elsewhere like a car dealership or something. The few options for promotion are a joke. Department Manager and Assistant Manager just mean you're going to get stuck with twice the work for pittance more. I'm one of the fortunate few who found a support position off the sales floor, and I wouldn't go back to the floor if they paid me double. Oh, the health plan is garbage. People say things like "If you're not motivated, you won't succeed here" I'll bite - you'd have to have the patience and discipline of a Shaolin monk to not get demotivated here, all the while making $10/hr, if you're lucky.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhere to start... Hire more competent, intelligent sales people who actually know how to tech gear instead of every 18 year old who walks in. Pay them more and treat younger, less experienced new employees as a paid internship on a 6 month basis making minimum wage. I got more, but TLDR.

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

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