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Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the rare retailer to be betting heavily on brick-and-mortar for its future. Help the expansion of Guitar Center and buy discounted gift cards from GiftCardRescue this holiday season. Have a cousin or uncle who’s always had budding musical dreams? Get them a gift that will last a lifetime. What a better way than giving the gift of music and expression? Visit our website and head out to Guitar Center for all of your musical needs.

At a time when overall music instrument sales have stalled and web sites like, eBay and Craigslist are selling more and more music gear, Guitar Center is doubling down on its physical presence, with plans to open between 15 and 20 stores a year for the foreseeable future on top of its current fleet of 262 locations. (It had 210 stores back in 2007.)

One such new store is the mega-store Guitar Center opened Thursday in New York’s Times Square.

The 28,000-square-foot location is indicative of how the privately held company has been radically re-thinking its retail approach. The flagship, about the size of an average Barnes & Noble, will have 9 recording studios, offer extensive music lessons and instrumental rental programs, and boast a snazzy Platinum Club area to showcase its most expensive guitars. And this being Times Square, with the requisite need to dazzle, the Guitar Center flagship will permanently house Eric Clapton’s favorite Fender Stratocaster, “Blackie” which the chain bought for $959,500 in 2004, an auction record that still stands.

While the Times Square store is much larger than a typical Guitar Center, more and more locations of any size in the fleet will offer the same services: currently 80 stores have training spaces, something Guitar Center wants at all stores by 2017. Some 55 locations have recording studios now, and that number will hit 85 by year-end. Meanwhile the company, which sells all manner of items like drums, recording software and sheet music, in addition to guitars and amps, is ramping up rental programs at more stores.

So the idea is for Guitar Center to make its physical stores a more appealing destination that serves more customer needs with high-margin services that Amazon, and for that matter, small independent stores, can’t offer. This will reduce its dependence on instrument sales and, it hopes, raises its profitability– the return on investment for studio space has been 20%, for example.

In addition to the store expansion — the company has already scouted 150 potential store locations — the company wants to retrofit about 207 stores so they are configured to also offer these services.

Help out Guitar Center and get a gift that will change someone’s life. Have you always wanted to play music? Trying to amp up your sound? Needs some new toys and gadgets? Head out to Guitar Center for everything you could need for your music. Visit our website and grab a discounted card to make it even easier!