Guitar Center Says ‘Aloha’ To Hawaii As It Continues To Grow
After investing a reported $5 million renovating its 30,000 square foot flagship store in Hollywood last year, Guitar Center just landed in Hawaii with a new store in Pearl City, just a few miles from Honolulu. This is its 290 store and the first off the mainland.
Growing Guitar Center’s brick-and-mortar footprint is top on CEO Ron Japinga’s to-do list . “We are opening stores at a time when so many others are closing them,” he shared with me.
After opening seven new stores in 2018, Pearl City is the third of six stores planned for this year, including its first store in Alaska. For the foreseeable future, Guitar Center plans to open six-to-ten stores per year.
These growth initiatives are paying off. “We have completed six positive comp quarters in a row,” he says, and hints more good news will follow shortly. “In a month we will be announcing the results of our seventh quarter. We are pretty excited about doing that.”
All new stores will be modeled on an open concept that encourages musicians and aspiring musicians to touch, feel and play the instruments.
“We have made it so much more inviting and inclusive, so that young, old, men, women and all ethnicities feel good in our stores,” Japinga says. The new open-concept store design corrects the impression that Guitar Centers are a male-dominated place just for hard rock and rollers.