Guitar Center Reviews | Glassdoor

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated June 22, 2017
230 reviews

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Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga
Ron Japinga
5 Ratings

230 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • It's essentially a slightly above minimum wage job (in 44 reviews)

  • Upper management is pretty counterproductive (in 43 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Typical Retail Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CSM in Eugene, OR
    Former Employee - CSM in Eugene, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The people you work with , being surrounded by gear and receiving products for free.

    Cons

    Clientele, upper management, holiday hours, sales requirements, etc. This is a typical retail environment - commonly referred to as the 'Wal Mart' of music stores.

    Advice to Management

    Pay your employees livable wages.

    Guitar Center Response

    Jun 16, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review! Not sure I agree with your assessment of our operations -- we are a passion brand and like other passion brand retailers, most of our Associates and customers are passionate ... More


  2. "Stay Awhile and Listen"

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

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

    Pros

    Surrounded by gear all day, talk music with customers and fellow employees. Hefty employee discounts on certain brands.

    Cons

    Where to start... Corporate and Store management is constantly in shambles. I was a department manager and struggled, due to the constant burden on all other departments. This corporation has within the past 5 years turned it's interest towards a replaceable workforce. The raises or insulting. Office politics. So many factors... after awhile, it becomes more about metrics and sales. Most tenured employees (retail stores) seem to be operations staff, store managers, and a handful of sales associates.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees right. Turnover rate needs help. Fix commission and bonus initiatives. The pay on any store level position, even SM, seems lower than it should be.

    Guitar Center Response

    Jun 6, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for taking the time to write a review and providing actionable specifics. We are working hard to make your experience working with us a rewarding one. Our executives are reading these ... More

  3. "Studio associate/Department manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sarasota, FL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sarasota, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible scheduling
    Discounts on gear
    Great job for musicians

    Cons

    Pay is very low
    A lot of work
    Pushed to increase sales all the time and sell Pro Coverage (damage plan)
    Advancement to manager is a lot more responsibility and not much more money

    Advice to Management

    Reward hard work and knowledge with a higher base pay. Be realistic about sales goals.

    Guitar Center Response

    Jun 6, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for writing! A retail management career track opens up all kinds of opportunities for you long term, including opportunities at corporate. Did you know, more than half of our DM's are ... More


  4. "More downs than ups"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Mesquite, TX
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Mesquite, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The discounts are probably the biggest reason why stuck around. I had some really amazing co-workers and the managers were amazing people. I value their friendships. The vacation and time off was tolerable. When you needed time off, management would work with you.

    Cons

    We were ALWAYS short-staffed on the floor. We would have trouble managing the store on busy days and only about 4 total employees (Including the floor managers) would have to run the store throughout most of the day. (about 6-8 employees on weekends). Management would make us worry about merchandising and keeping the store as excellent as possible, which I personally did not mind, it was part of the job requirement, but when their focus was more on that, than actually selling, thats when I would have doubts about the job. Pay was decent for a "get through college, or part time job" I do not recommend this as a career path. You will not succeed in life if you think that this job will support you long term. When you would bring an idea to management, they would listen and go through with the idea, but 1-2 weeks later that idea will either change completely or get thrown in the garbage because of "corporate decisions". Even though I had great relationships with management, some of their decision making was not so great. I would have some of my former employees suffer because of these decisions. Goals would change everyday. You would get in trouble more for not selling warranties while you are the number one associate in sales for the month or year.

    Advice to Management

    I know your jobs are to maintain balance to the store but also maintain balance with your employees as well. Fix the scheduling issues, and worry about overall sales more.


  5. "Operations"

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

    I worked at Guitar Center (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great working environment & culture

    Cons

    - advancement opportunities are few and far between

    Advice to Management

    Identify those with career oriented goals and focus on development

    Guitar Center Response

    May 24, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review! Guitar Center University is rolling out a feature for career pathing with actionable recommendations. For those wanting to make a career at GC, speak to your SM, DM or ... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Corporate Office"

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Not too many pros. It's just an ok company with ok benefits

    Cons

    Started off good, but went downhill as my manager changed during last 2 yrs before I left. They promote work/life balance, but they really don't care about their employees. They specifically didn't care for working Moms (at least my last manager didn't, she was an evil woman). They just want you to work like a dog, kiss every manager's behind, and maybe-maybe then you'll deserve that promotion. There was a lot of gender discrimination and a lot of favoritism happening. No matter how well I worked, how dedicated & prompt I was, it just wasn't enough. And to ask for time-off, or when emergency came along & had to leave work to take care of a sick-child, oooh the look on manager's face was just pure evil. I'm so glad I'm not working for GC any longer. More than 7 yrs I was there, we changed 4 CEOs. That is not a good sign. Top Executives didn't care about their employees. They only cared about their FAT pockets! Lastly, their HR department is toxic. Must do clean house asap.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the favoritism!!! Treat everyone respectfully and equally.

    Guitar Center Response

    May 2, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review, and I'm sorry your time with us didn't end on a positive note. You nailed it in your advice and Respect is a Core Value. Fostering diversity both in terms ethnic and gender ... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Corporate Office"

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

    I worked at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Great people work in the office if you want to sit around talking about music all day. If you like noise its awesome, music blaring out of offices, people usually playing guitar or drumming on something.

    Cons

    Passes the buck. Many people get away with doing nonproductive busy work while those who are working productively are micromanaged. Everybody has their favorites.

    Advice to Management

    Promote diversity and stick up for your female employees.

    Guitar Center Response

    May 2, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review, and I'm sorry your time with us wasn't positive. Your advice is great and fostering diversity both in terms ethnic and gender parity is one of my initiatives. A UC Davis ... More

  8. Helpful (1)

    "No Appreciation"

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

    I worked at Guitar Center part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome customers, new adventure every day, creative and smart co-workers

    Cons

    Corporate always beating the pro coverage, and credit card drum. Sell more, sell more. Computer system slow and balky. "Improvement" made it even worse.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate your employees! They make the company!! Stop flogging and start rewarding. Stop cutting staff. Issue work schedules on time.

    Guitar Center Response

    May 2, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Fostering a selling culture is an important initiative for us but it sounds like in your case, we need to work on the execution. Thank you for your review.


  9. "Operations Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations Manager in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Operations Manager in Houston, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Working here was fun. I met lots of interesting people but also learned a lot about music gear. I would recommend this job to musicians because it is a great place to network for gigs.

    Cons

    There is very little room for raises, unless you move up in position. Not much money to be made but a fun place to work.

    Advice to Management

    My advice is that they pay the hard working managers more. The work load is more than what the company pays management positions to accomplish.


  10. "Not The Best, Not The Worst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Contractor - Staff Accountant in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Contractor - Staff Accountant in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My supervisor was great, a total sweetheart, loved her! Nice office facilities, great cubicle space to sit in for 8 hours a day for 9 months.

    Cons

    - Boring job. Absolutely nothing interesting about the projects I did for them. Brainless is the only thing I can think of to describe it. I listened to music on my ipod all day long while working and still got my work done. Usually for accounting jobs, that's not even an option since it requires so much brain work, but not this position.
    - Socially very awkward. If you were not a regular employee there, you were basically an outcast. Other than my supervisor and a couple of the people who worked with her, it was an absolute zero. The regular employees were one big family, and they weren't looking for outsiders. They socialized all day long and it seemed like they hardly got any work done. Senior-level employees were downright rude 100% of the time, for no good reason. They ruled the roost, and everyone else was just a poor peasant farmer.
    - Overall, an average experience. I was glad when I finished the projects and was told that my last day would be on Friday!! Moved on to a better and more intellectually stimulating job.

    Advice to Management

    Keep an eye on your regular employees - they slack off way too much and it's definitely affecting productivity and wasting company resources. And tell them to work on their manners and social graces because they quite obviously live in a Guitar Center bubble and anyone from the outside may as well be from a different planet.


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