by Asad | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Is Guitar Center headed for bankruptcy?

Is Guitar Center headed for bankruptcy?  ·  Source: Pixabay


Guitar Center can’t seem to get a break. The US retailer was faced with trouble earlier this year, and it seems things have not gotten much better. According to the New York Times and Music Trades, the chain missed an interest payment of about $45 million earlier this month. This kicked off a 30-days grace period which could end in default.


Guitar Center filing for bankruptcy?

According to recent articles in the New York Times and Music Trades magazine, Guitar Center was unable to pay an interest payment of roughly $45 million earlier this month, triggering a grace period of 30 days. The US’ largest retailer of musical instruments has now turned to creditors to work on a plan that would involve it to file bankruptcy this year, and emerge from it in 2021. The company is currently about $1.8 billion in debt.

A difficult year

This announcement is probably not a huge surprise to those following Guitar Center in the news. The company had already been experiencing difficulties earlier this year, when it had to shut down many of its facilities and furlough staff. Already under stress, it seems the COVID-19 crisis just exacerbated an already tricky situation.

End of an era?

On the other side of the pond, Gitarre&Bass magazine reports that mega music instrument German retailer, JustMusic will be shutting down all its facilities outside Berlin. The reasons seem to be the current economic situation and industry trends.

Are we slowly witnessing the end of brick and mortar music shops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

UPDATE – 23 November

Guitar Center announced on 22 November that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the filing, the retailer – currently facing some $1.3 billion in debt – intends to reduce its debt to $800 million. While the company goes through the restructuring process, it has pledged to continue paying its employees and maintain its in-store and e-commerce operations.


11 responses to “Update: Is Guitar Center finally headed for bankruptcy?”

  1. Wayne Sands says:

    In the past 25yrs.i being a drummer bought many kits as a player and did gigs for schools to save the music,if this Icon closes live music will take a big blow and kids education in music will suffer

  2. Wayne Sands says:

    This covid is destroying live venues and musicians lively hood and now Guitar Center is closing ! Life’s changing for the worse!!

  3. Wayne Sands says:

    Every aspirering musician needs this store . I worked for GC in San Jose California in78, that’s when Slingerland drums sold out and who bought their drums GC did!! Great company and gave a lot to musician’s as a outlet for players!

  4. Chris says:

    I think that’s more down to Thomann. Thomann is the new Amazon for musicians. In the longer term, it will happen here, as it has already happened in other industries. If Behringer continues like this, it will hit many synth manufacturers too.

  5. Joe says:

    Yea well they have had horrible customer service through the pandemic. I had to file a BBB report to get a resolution from them. I have purchase many guitars from them over the years however they have been getting worse and worse. My last guitar I purchased was supposed to be new however the paperwork that came with the guitar still had the return paperwork from another customer. They charged me for a new guitar I ordered online and sent me a customer return. They get what they deserve at this point

  6. Edwin Estrada says:

    Here in Ocala Florida,they really went downhill. Very deadpan people working there,not rude,but not friendly,they don’t express incentive or interest in convincing customers for a sale. Just about all the Acoustic, Acoustic-Electric guitars are entry level. Poor service all around.

  7. William King says:

    It dosen’t matter if it’s g.c. or another music store but we all do need a local shop where we can walk in and put our hands on a guitar before we buy one. I have dealt with g.c. for many years and never had a problem until, they were bought out and had an upper management who did not care about their customers or their employees. That is when they went down hill. Bring back musicians for musicians in the company.

  8. Colby Pollard says:

    I worked for GC Sherman Oaks. I lasted one year. The thing I remember most about Music Retail was how little Music Retail has to do with Music.

  9. Vinnie says:

    I really miss the days of the ma and pa brick and mortar stores. There were many to choose from and each would have product lines unique to their store. I miss interacting with those stores and getting to know owners and staff. In this area at least, GC and Mars came in and just wiped em all out. Sad.

  10. Eric says:

    Guitar Center is not going out of business, at least from the outside looking in. Great big companies, like GC, will use the bankruptcy laws we have on the books to take advantage of and can wipe their slate almost clean and start over.

  11. Leila R. De Almeida says:

    I bought a drum set from them a year ago and it was fine, but 5 months ago me and my son went to the store here in Worcester Mass. We just liked to know which guitar would be good for a beginner, then the guy said: You better google this for information. I just said, unbelievable! and left the store. They just don’t care anymore.

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