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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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Issue Preview: Can It Strike a Chord?

When Guitar Center Inc. opened a store across the street from its Westlake Village headquarters in April, it invited alternative L.A. rock band The Beta Machine to perform. It was a typical marketing ploy by the firm, which has a long history of inviting celeb musicians to fraternize with customers, head up competitions and promote products. And it was a success, drawing 800 fans who mingled with musicians and were able to check out the new store – one of seven it plans to open this year as it seeks to turn around its fortunes in an era where an increasing number of musical instrument sales are made online. A key part of the strategy? A refocused marketing message and a plethora of in-store services to increase foot traffic and hopefully boost sales. The company emphasizes that the best way to pick an axe is to pluck it in a store – even if it’s only a dream buy. “Part of the fun of coming in here is you get to play the $5,000 guitar that you may not be able to afford,” said Kevin Kazubowski, senior vice president of stores. Read the full story in the May 18 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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