STORE SPACES

Guitar Center opens landmark store amid ongoing expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest music instrument retailer has opened its first store outside of the continental U.S. — and its 290th location overall.

Guitar Center opened a 19,000-sq.-ft. store in Pearl City, Hawaii. It is the third of six planned openings by the retailer for 2019. The openings include the brand’s first store in Alaska.

Reflecting Guitar Center’s updates store format, the new location is designed as a destination music store, with showrooms filled with guitars, drums, keys, live sound, a DJ and recording equipment. It also offers rentals, repairs and a contemporary music “lessons academy.”

The store also boasts a number of location-specific features, including a 16-ft wall dedicated exclusively to ukuleles and a Koa Tonewood display dedicated to the rich Hawaiian heritage of the iconic koa tree, which provides a uniquely appealing tonewood for musical instruments such as guitars and ukuleles. (To help replenish the native Hawaiian forests, Guitar Center is partnering with Reforest Hawai’i to plant more than 200 koa trees in the sacred Kona forest.)

“The opening of our first store outside of the continental U.S. is a landmark moment for Guitar Center and reaffirms our company’s ongoing strategy for long-term growth and expansion,” stated Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga. “Today’s musicians are looking for accessibility to a large number of brands and services, and the new store reflects the future of retail experiences by offering a completely immersive experience for the music community in Pearl City and beyond.”

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