Guitar Center Reviews

Updated June 30, 2015
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2.7
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Guitar Center CEO Darrell Webb
Darrell Webb
49 Ratings

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear and decent health coverage (in 33 reviews)

  • You can buy gear at cost with your employee discount (in 41 reviews)

Cons
  • basically minimum wage as a regular salesman your first year (in 29 reviews)

  • Several Layers of Middle to Upper Management (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

469 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (8)

    Used to be great, new CEO did 180 degree flip on culture

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Good schedules and relatively medium workload for retail

    Cons

    - New CEO has gutted much of what made company worth sticking around at. Laid off or fired many people to save money

    - New CEO has ruined employee purchase and financing programs which is what kept a lot of part time staff on board

    - New uniform programs go against the "Be yourself" ethos company was founded on

    - Corporate management can be both overly micro managing and inept at realizing what's going on in stores ate the same time

    - Many "In the field" jobs that people aspired to have and were vital to proper training and morale have been eliminated

    Advice to Management

    What did you do this for? You're turning a retailer that was unique and enjoyable to work at into another mindless retail warehouse of soul crushing.


  2. It's a job, nothing special

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Guitar Center part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's got good people that work here, other than the people that work here I don't have anything good to say about it

    Cons

    It's very corporate and they don't pay well, turning the store into something that is not musical or inspired at all

    Advice to Management

    Make it a cool place again instead of turning it into a music Walmart


  3. Sales Associate

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to be around on the daily. Around cool gear. Pay is really on you.

    Cons

    Musicians are a tough bunch to sell to and work with at times. Discounts were good, but most of the time you couldn't even afford them. No more employee loan program. The schedule always seems to be an issue.

    Advice to Management

    Stop getting so P&P robotic. Instead of being ok with letting a veteran leave because of reasonably desired accommodations somehow being out of reach and willing to go through the whole interview, hiring, and training process every month and act like you see their worth to the company.


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  5. Strong Culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong culture under the CEO at that time Focus on supporting the stores and customers.

    Cons

    Business decisions tended to dilute that which made the company unique. Reorganization took out a lot of experienced management.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees instead of participating in group think.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Not bad work if you understand how retail works

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

    I have been working at Guitar Center

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Nice environment. Nice people. Always fun to be around instruments.

    Cons

    Same as working for any other big retailer.

    Advice to Management

    Try to fight for your employees. I'm sure some of you do.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Not Too Bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Specialist/Guitar Instructor in Monroe, OH
    Former Employee - Product Specialist/Guitar Instructor in Monroe, OH

    I worked at Guitar Center (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    See all the new gear. Learn about all aspects of music retail.

    Cons

    almost all evening work makes it very hard to gig as a musician

    Advice to Management

    more pay


  8. Helpful (1)

    Worked for Guitar Center

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fun culture. Cool environment. Once you're in, enjoy the ride.

    Cons

    Boys club. There are women that work for Guitar Center, but it is dominated by men. They rarely hire from outside the company.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Guitar Center

    Current Employee - Sales and Training Manager in Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Sales and Training Manager in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at Guitar Center (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You get to talk about gear all day and meet some great people both as co-workers and customers. The employee discount is nice and it's a good place to network musicians and expand your musical horizons.

    Cons

    It seems that sometimes the pay and the work asked of you are not equal. More responsibilities are added without additional compensation. There is not always a place to move up, and sometimes good people have to leave because of it.


  10. guitar technician

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    greatcompany to work for! They provided excellent training and all the tools to become a Master Luthier

    Cons

    salary not commensurate with experience


  11. Helpful (1)

    Sales

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Barbara, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Barbara, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than a year)

    Pros

    - I got to be around people who shared my interest in music, it was awesome.
    - Customers were sometimes very cool, I became good friends with many
    - The knowledge of new technology and gear was always applicable outside of work, I learned tons of new things.
    - Finishing a good deal was a challenge, I felt like an actual sales person rather than just someone who rings up people and stocks stuff.

    Cons

    - Working there was difficult and the pay was horrible.
    - It felt like a fighting pit sometimes, people grow to be shady if they do well, those ones are usually promoted but not always.
    - There's definitely a class difference in behavior, if you were an AM or above at the store I was at you could said this and this or disclose about last night, but if you were a sales guy/gal you'd probably get in trouble.

    Advice to Management

    The culture that seems to be at many Guitar Centers I've visited/worked out/knew people at very well is very divided. When you're not in the in group it gets hard to go to work everyday, thankfully I knew people, but what about the new ones who don't?

    Address your ownership change and with that some clarity of expectations.
    Pay your people higher, because sales people at Guitar Center work their butts off, if I can get paid more to sit on my butt doing data entry then why would anyone over the age of 25 want to stay unless they felt comfortable or were at a store that provided decent commission and hours.

    Re-clarify your mission, fix your culture in your stores, and I think the rest will work it self out from that.



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