Guitar Center Reviews | Glassdoor

Guitar Center Reviews

Updated September 20, 2017
890 reviews

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890 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Pay is disgustingly low (minimum wage) for workers with specialized skill set (in 46 reviews)

  • Upper management is pretty counterproductive (in 46 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "You need to increse the pay and hours please."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Coconut Creek, FL
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Coconut Creek, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guitar Center part-time

    Pros

    Dream job if it paid more or offered more hours
    Great Culture
    Discount
    Flexible Schedule
    Good managers
    Wealth of information
    Surrounded by your favorite things

    Cons

    The pay is incredibly low and even with commission you cant even make ends meet. Minimum wage in Florida is $8.10 and GC is just barely above that. Not much of an incentive. They only offer part time and no real advancement. Even if you do get promoted, the increase from what I heard is not very much. The computer system is way out dated like the other person mentioned.

    Advice to Management

    Please offer fulltime and consider raising the wages. If you want hard working dedicated people to stay and thrive in your company invest in them. This really could be a dream job. Anyone can work at a minimum wage job but you need knowledgeable employees at Guitar Center so they can help guide your customers and increase sales. Human resources could you make a living off minimum wage at part time? Everyone is working hard for their money I guarantee you that.

    Guitar Center Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the review and finding your sound with us! I hosted a workshop at the Support Center yesterday -- about 60% of the leaders in the room started their careers in the stores org, so there... More


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to learn, bad place for a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discount on gear is great! I've learned a ton while working here about gear, sales, and even acquired new skills!

    Cons

    1. Compensation is a joke. Starting pay sounds competitive if you're new to the job market, but in reality, it's not enough to get by and definitely not fair for the amount of work you're expected to do. I've noticed Guitar Center replying to many similar complaints on here with "most of our sales associates make over $15/hr" This is simply not true. Perhaps in the markets like California or New York where cost of living is extremely high, however, not a single sales OR lead associate in my entire store makes 15$/hr (even after accounting for bonus and commission compensations) and the few associates that have moved to larger markets don't get paid 15$/hr either, which leads me to my aforementioned conclusion. Sure Guitar Center, 1,000s of associates in these particular markets qualifies as "many" but this is a super misleading statement. Potential employees beware.
    2. Advancement opportunities are almost non-existent and the few that do exist require relocation. I happen to know the salaries of everyone in my store and the pay increase isn't worth the added responsibility anyway. Add relocation expenses to that and you come out behind in the long run.
    3. Managment is hit or miss and upper-level management doesn't seem to have a clue what happens at a store level. I know associates at other stores who loathe their store managers and associates that love them. My store manager happens to be a narcissist which makes work unbearable, but he gets results so he's not going anywhere anytime soon.
    4. Turnover rate is high. Can you guess why? Me neither, weird. High turnover puts extra strain on employees like myself who stick around long enough to know how to do our jobs. We are constantly having to train the new people and pick up the slack in between new hires or just while the new hires are still in training. Ps. Since advancement opportunities don't exist, this means if you stick around long enough to be one of the few training new employees, you're not going to be compensated for it.
    5. Scheduling is whack. Schedules can get changed last second with little to no notice. If you complain the manager will accommodate you to remain compliant with local laws but generally you will be gently "guided" into taking your new schedule. Scheduling is almost NEVER consistent in the first place, making it difficult to make plans outside of work. They can be flexible at times if you need to request time off but usually after a great deal of hassle and many times I get scheduled on a day I requested (and was approved, up to months in advance) off and have to get them to go back and fix it.
    6. Your job title means nothing. NOTHING. Everyone does everything. On top of not getting paid well, if you're a commission based associate, you're expected to do everything in the whole entire store which is obviously going to take you away from selling, thereby lowering any potential commissions. The repair tech at our store, who's job title suggests he should be merely fixing customer and store instruments, also completes ship-outs, provides sales floor coverage in all departments, merchandises gear, performs planograms, and more.

    Advice to Management

    VALUE YOUR EMPLOYEES. I know you put up this facade in all your employee documentation, handbooks, videos, and such, but it comes across phoney, cause it is. You have to actually act on your so-called "values"
    Pay employee what they are worth in the first place and you will have happier, more dedicated workers.
    Incentivise advancement by offering worthwhile pay in leadership positions (take note, $1/hr more is NOT worthwhile.) If your employees actually WANT to advance they will do everything they can to get there, which will create more openings and more advancement opportunities across the board. Not to mention, harder working and more EFFICIENT employees.

    It costs you money to hire new associates, (Paper, ink, pay your manager to perform interviews, background check fees, etc.) why don't you just try and keep the ones you have?

    If you're wondering how to get employees to stick around long enough to learn their roles well, perform their roles well, and thereby increase YOUR revenue. Make them feel valued. This includes paying them reasonable wages and offering DECENT benefits. Crappy health coverage for the sake of saying you offer health coverage is NOT DECENT.

    Reward employees for doing a great job. My monthly, and yearly reviews have always come back astounding! Yet, I have seen only 2-3% annual raises at best. This is less than the yearly inflation rate, rendering them effectively null. If I'm doing such a great job, then you should be paying about 2-5% in addition to adjusting for inflation.

    Store managers and leadership positions need to be evaluated based on more than just strictly numbers performance. Interpersonal skills, team building skills and personality are all imperative to effective management. An effective leader who creates a great work environment for his/her employees can have huge long term impacts on employee performance. Which in turn, affects your revenue.

  3. "Could be great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Coconut Creek, FL
    Former Employee - Sales in Coconut Creek, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Guitar Center part-time

    Pros

    Working with products you like. Gained knowledge on products. Atmosphere.

    Cons

    You can't make a living working there. Revolving door of employees. No continuity on the employee discount. One store is more flexible with purchases than the other. For the little pay and hours you could make it easier to use your discount. Not require product to be there for 30 days or more before you can purchase or ask you to buy something at the beginning of your shift? Also your closing time is never what is on the schedule.

    Advice to Management

    Offer more hours or the chance to be fulltime or people will keep leaving.

    Guitar Center Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the review!


  4. "Not the Guitar Center from the good old days"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Customer Service Manager in Rockville, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The discount is great, and it is a great job for full time musicians or for a first job. It used to be a fun place to work with a lot of room for growth.

    Cons

    Upper management is out of touch with things at the store level. They continue to cut hours and the pay is severely lacking.


  5. "Tenured former store manager - great for part timers, forget making a living on the sales floor."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great People, access to learning about gear, discounts and access to others in the music industry. A great place to network and learn the basics of retail. Highly structured environment great for people growing into a role. If you're looking for a fun part time job, this is great.

    Cons

    Near impossible for salespeople to get FT hours, not much room for innovation or new ideas, out of touch upper management, undertrained and understaffed stores. GC used to have a great opportunity for a self starter to make the move into management and beyond. The company has changed a great deal from organic growth to corporate planning and a stale sales environment. If you are looking for a career, beware.

    Advice to Management

    It would be a great idea to get true musicians involved in running a music chain. Listen to those who face the public day to day and make some assortment changes to keep you relevant.

    Guitar Center Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the review. As a former Store Manager, you are well aware, that it is the store's leadership that makes the schedules -- schedule people full time if your store can support the hours!... More


  6. "Operations Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations in Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Operations in Kansas City, MO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great Discount
    Good People
    Fun to be around gear all day
    Good hours ( For Ops)

    Cons

    LOW PAY
    no advancement
    little to no raises
    no commission for Operations Associates
    Pushy sales tactics
    punishment for not adding to sales

    Advice to Management

    invest in your people! pay the Ops people more, they don't make commission $9.00 /hr is not enough if you don't offer annual or bi-annual raises. Focus on making your workers happy and the company will do better.

    Guitar Center Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – VP Human Resources and Diversity

    Thanks for the review! All stores Associates -- including the Ops team -- are eligible for an annual merit increase and our Sales Associates on average make about $15/hour. We are all about... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "GC forgets their Retail Employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Connections, People, Discounts, Music, People.

    Cons

    Guitar Center stopped caring about Retail Associates

    Advice to Management

    Leadership Development and hyping up your Corporate environment is cute and all, but your retail employees NEED YOU BADLY. They are your bread and butter, they are your face, they are selling for you, they are working long hours for you they are subject to ALL negative media and it's reprocussions, they are your work horses. Stop hyping the Support Center on LinkedIn as a great place to work, and start talking about Retail and the front lines. Remember you are a Retail company. INVEST in your army. INVEST in your retail associates. They need you, and you are not supporting them. This includes the Ops Support and Services crew at the Support Center who have come from Retail. You start at Retail, and the rest will follow and that will drive Support Center potential employee outreach. When people see you care about the heart of your business which are your stores... then maybe Guitar Center can be an awesome place to work again.

    Guitar Center Response

    Aug 29, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for your thoughts and recognizing that we are putting our employer brand out there and stating what we believe in -- for all of our Associates!

  8. "Great Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Could find anything wrong there.

    Guitar Center Response

    Aug 29, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review and so happy you were able to find your sound with us!


  9. "You don't do it for the money"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Guitar Center Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Guitar Center (More than a year)

    Pros

    Gained product knowledge, Met representatives from music product companies, the discount, and the ability to play guitar when business was slow.

    Cons

    Poor management, pay was a joke, and employees were not treated with high regard.

    Advice to Management

    Pay employees better.

    Guitar Center Response

    Aug 29, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review! Most of our Sales Associates make about $15/hour, which isn't bad for being able to play the guitar when business was slow!


  10. "Fun place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Guitar Center full-time

    Pros

    Great atmosphere to work in.

    Cons

    I dont have any cons.

    Advice to Management

    None

    Guitar Center Response

    Aug 29, 2017 – Vice President Human Resources

    Thanks for the review and keep the feedback coming!


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