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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Round Of Layoffs At Guitar Center

Guitar Center image
Guitar Center has been embattled for a number of years now, and it seems like every few months some new negative news pops up that makes you not only wonder about the immediate health of the company, but of its future as well.

The latest is the announcement that 43 corporate executives and 28 field managers have been laid off, according to a leaked email from GC's new CEO Darrell Web. Among those let go include long-time GC Pro vice-president Rick Plushner.

This last bit might make a difference for all of you who regularly buy from the pro side of the company, since Pro Sound News is reporting being told that pro sales will report to the Senior Vice President of Services rather than the stores going forward. In other words, if you think buying GC is tough now, just wait until corporate gets in the middle.

I've never had particularly good luck buying from GC although I've tried, most recently about a month ago when I stopped in the Sherman Oaks store to buy a new field recorder. I wanted to make the sale quickly as I was on the run, but kept getting passed from salesman to salesman, none of whom seemed particularly interested in helping me. It was the middle of the afternoon with an almost empty store, so the employees attention wasn't exactly taken up by other customers. I bought it online instead.

Still, this move affects management, which may or not be bloated to begin with, and doesn't affect staff at the store level, at least not yet. What this means is that the remaining corporate staff now have more responsibility and work to do in the same amount of time and for the same amount of money, which is never great for efficiency.

That said, Guitar Center has a number of larger issues on its plate at the moment, like extricating itself from massive debt, an investigation by the Security and Exchange Commission, and being accused of unfair labor practices. Cutting a few executives might make the company's bottom line look a little better, but that's small fish in a big sea of problems.

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