Guitar Center Reviews | Glassdoor

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
146 reviews

Filter

Filter


1.0
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga
Ron Japinga
2 Ratings

146 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Great discounts on gear and free VST plugins through their worker's program (in 70 reviews)

  • Great employee discount - this is the greatest PRO for this company (in 104 reviews)

Cons
  • It's essentially a slightly above minimum wage job (in 45 reviews)

  • Upper management is pretty counterproductive (in 42 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "God Awful Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If your just a kid, it may seem like fun, and you can get gear cheap If you are looking for a serious job or career, not the place

    Cons

    They just take advantage of you at every turn, often deceiving you. Even Management is way under paid for what they do in general and in comparison to competition, Sam Ash for instance. A store mgr at Ash will start at &15K more than GC. Overworked and under paid is no way to go through life!

    Advice to Management

    Seek new employment.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many passionate coworkers committed to hard work. Sense of satisfaction knowing you may be contributing to helping consumers make music.

    Cons

    Classic big box death spiral playing out in slow motion. Sales continue to slide making coworkers anxious and territorial. Moral is gloomy with occasional glimpses of naive optimism. So much Sr level management turnover (including CEOs) have resulted in little cultural memory; lessons learned years ago have been replaced my countless strategic and tactical missteps. Almost total brain drain of competent talent. A once great company with an authentic sense of purpose has been gutted. Avoid at all costs.

    Advice to Management

    Understand that the organization you've nurtured has rotted from within. Stop opening stores, rightsize the company, cut the dead wood.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "The epitome of big-box retail"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Corporate-level Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Corporate-level Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I met some great people there and learned a lot about what not to do in this industry. Other than that, I can't think of any other pros.

    Cons

    Guitar Center is a Company that completely lost its culture and simply no longer cares about its employees. I worked at Guitar Center for 15 years and it really was a great company for the first 6-8 years I was there. From 2010 - present, most of the things you have read about this company are absolutely true. I held a corporate-level position for the last few years of my sentence and it was very intriguing to get an inside glimpse of the tomfoolery that takes place there. The Top 4 Executives of the Company are from Target, Lowe's, Best Buy and a small Grocery Store chain. You can imagine how "music-oriented" the business plan is. It's a retailer, that's it. And, it's a very low-paying retailer at that. Stores are Unionizing, labor is consistently being cut (because, it's their largest "controllable" expense), the manager's bonus program is made more and more difficult to achieve, top line sales are WAY OFF, a series of layoffs happen annually (including 2 different waves in 2015 which included many of the founders of the company and some of my closest friends), and it's completely lost its way. Store Managers start off making $37k a year, which is 1995 money, Operations managers are lucky to make $30k a year, and you can anticipate $9/hour for a while if you are looking to join the team. The mantra of the company should be, "Either you, or your replacement, will get us what we're looking for." It's command and control. They want people who will shut up, keep their head down and "run the play". Miserable work environment, which is why I left on my own terms.

    Advice to Management

    Get off your high horse, stop worrying about if you're going to lose your job or not, and realize that you have lost some of the best people in the MI Industry over the last few years. You can sustain with top line sales off for a few years, but the EBITDA will run dry at some point and the next step in labor reduction will be self-serve kiosks.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Don't work here. If you do get out."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Discount on gear. meet and work with some great people. You will learn a lot about music and the music industry.

    Cons

    They will chew you up and spit you out. Its a cut throat high pressure sales job like car sales but with half the pay. After a few years you will have permanent hearing damage. If you have one bad sales week they will not hesitate to fire you and the guy next to you just for kicks. They don't care about you or your talent. Just sell until your'e fired.

    Advice to Management

    Sales people actually work better when they are relaxed and not stressed. So take it easy on your employees and don't threaten to fire them every 10 minutes. The "up" system just let them sell or better yet remove sales goals all together.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Guitar Center - Long Time Employee Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Working alongside a sales staff comprised of incredible musicians and local industry professionals.

    The ability to network with fellow musicians inside and outside of work.

    Getting to inspire and educate first time musicians and customers new to the music industry.

    Great insurance benefits for full time employees.

    Fair vacation, sick, and unpaid time off.

    Cons

    There is a lack of effective leadership from upper corporate management.

    Flawed commission structure for sales associates.

    Tools put in place to streamline and expedite the sales experience are completely ineffective and inefficient.

    The training for new employees is minimal and there is no dedicated training manager.

    Sales associates don't make commission for the first 90 days of employment but are required to make sales and achieve sales goals.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more time and money into making your store level employees happy. The customer experience suffers because employees are frustrated and are not fairly compensated for their tenure, experience, or knowledge.

    The employee website implemented to place orders does not work and needs to be updated to a better system. It takes way too long to create and fulfill an order and, again, the customer experience suffers.

    Stop requiring your Non- Commission Sales Leads to hit a monthly sales goal without paying them the commission they duly earned on those sales. This takes money out of your sales associates pockets and is not a fair practice. I spend half my day making sales instead of managing my sales team and department and that money seemingly goes straight to the company.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "N/A"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - N/A in Westlake Village, CA
    Former Employee - N/A in Westlake Village, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you enjoy music and are a musician, it's a great place to work. Special deals on gear and services along with exposure and collaboration with other musicians and artists make Guitar Center a unique job opportunity.

    Cons

    Guitar Center has shifted from its core competency and upper management continues to drive business down believing they have the formula for retail success. The fact that a 2.5 billion dollar company has operated with no stated core values for the past couple of years tells the story. Misguided might understate their current position. Until they do a complete overhaul in how they conduct business, Guitar Center will continue to lose market share.

    Advice to Management

    Simply: if Guitar Center would model itself like another niche retailer - The Container Store - it would regain its position as the #1 music instrument retailer.


  8. "Pass"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Indianapolis, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay if you like music

    Cons

    Management is pretty terrible in my opinion.

    Advice to Management

    Dont fire people who have medical problems causing them to miss work twice.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "a complete and utterly tasteless joke"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Draper, UT
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Draper, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You will get amazing deals on gear either through the employee purchase program, or through GAIN. Employee purchases get 10% above cost, and many GAIN deals are for 10% below standard dealer cost. I have met some amazing people during my time with Guitar Center, but also have encountered some less than desirable people, which is to be expected at any job. Inbound calls, so no cold calling.

    Cons

    Attendance policy is designed to weed out people. However, this policy only applies to hourly workers and never salary workers such as management, who consistently come in late, leave early, take longer lunches and breaks than allotted, with no issues. The worst has to be HR in the Salt Lake office. Rude, don't care about anything, and never can give you an exact answer to your questions. The entire culture comes across as jr high clique, to the point where promotions are based off of qualifications such as one of the managers saying "oh, I like him" without actually saying why. There is pretty much no room for advancement unless you are willing to move to another state, which not everybody is able to do at the drop of a hat. Systems are horrible and are constantly going down, which includes the phone system. Don't ever say on the phone that the reason it is taking you 20 minutes to process a 5 minute return call is the systems or you will get written up for it. Honestly, the entire office works off of write ups and the fear they install. Retention is a joke. I am the only person left from my training class of 22 people after a little over 1 year. Most people in my class left due to being lied to about hours, and how they hire pretty much everyone in at part time. The pay is very low for the amount of abuse you will receive from both rude customers and management. They are constantly asking for additional hours, and will try and bully you into working them, even if you are not able to due to outside of work commitments. Overtime is rarely approved, so it is the usual work me up to 39.9 hours and no more for the week. I once had the manager of my department take me into a office to speak to me about not being able to pick up additional hours. He told me that I was not doing my part for the company, and that I needed to take ownership. I tried explaining to him that with my young children and wife, I am only able to work hours during certain times. I am sure that when I was interviewed by him for a promotion to team lead, that I was not considered due to this, even though I feel I have more qualifications than those they hired.

    Advice to Management

    Stop playing games, this is just a job, and not a career. You are not better than anyone else simply because you happened to be at the right place at the right time. Actually pay people what they are worth, and you might retain people. Stop with the jr high clique atmosphere, as it is losing you the people who actually care and try to do the best job possible. This is why your customer satisfaction scores are so low, they are a reflection of how horrible management is at in the Salt Lake center.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Do not work here if you're in IT."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Related Position in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - IT Related Position in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not Pros, amateurs.

    I can't really think of a pro and I'm not trolling. If you like hanging around failed musicians then I guess that's a pro.

    Cons

    Terrible health benefits compared to other companies, management pushes around people and won't listen to good ideas.

    The pay is extremely low for the IT field. If you're serious about growing your career this place will stunt your career growth.

    Directors in IT related fields are more interested in their own bonuses than in developing their subordinates. Management will not promote you nor give you merit based on performance to increase their own bottom line. You will get thrown under the bus for things you never even did. Be warned.

    Do not work here if you're in IT!

    Advice to Management

    Your culture is toxic you guys need to listen to your employees.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Operations Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Associate in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Operations Associate in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Physical job. Employee discounts on gear. Minimal customer interaction.

    Cons

    It's a big box store. It's all about he bottom line for both Operations Managers and General Managers. As an operations associate your sole purpose is to serve the sales team (read: dispose of their waste) who are more often than not unappreciative and disrespectful. Low incentive for promotion unless one wants to run their own store someday. That combined with the pervasive top-down bully culture that permeated the place, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.



Showing 146 of 811 reviews
Reset Filters