Guitar Center is Facing Risk of Bankruptcy

Rock and roll may never die, but that certainly doesn’t count for companies who rely on it for sales. According to a report from Digital Music News, Guitar Center, one of the biggest instrument retailers in the United States with more than 280 locations, is in “serious bankruptcy.”

Rumors of financial woes with Guitar Center have been circling since 2014, and in 2015 the chain laid off more than 180 corporate employees, while posting serious monetary losses.

Although the retailer has maintained its course since then, S&P downgraded Guitar Center’s rating to ‘CCC-‘, indicating “serious risk of bankruptcy.” While Moody’s, a financial analysis company, insisted the company is solvent, despite more than $1 billion in outstanding loans. Recently, Guitar Center just completed an “emergency loan renegotiation” for $165 million of that debt to remain open.

Many insist that the fate of Guitar Center is linked with that of Gibson Guitars, which is also facing bankruptcy. Many instrument companies have seen a steep decline in guitar sales in recent years, dropping approximately 1.5 million per year to 1 million over the past decade. This may be due to younger generations gravitating towards genres of music that don’t utilize the guitar as much as rock music. Instead, many of these younger musicians use laptops, piano keyboards, or other accessories to create their tunes.

David Gagnon

Born in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Dave has laid down his soul to the gods rock n' roll. He attended Columbia College Chicago as a major in Creative Writing. Some of his favorite things are heavy metal and pizza.

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