Yesterday, The Music & Sound Retailer learned that there had been a substantial wave of layoffs at Guitar Center, centered specifically on the corporate and field-supervision level. This news comes only a couple of months after the resignation of Mike Pratt, former CEO of Guitar Center, who was replaced by Darrell Webb, as President and CEO, last November.
The Retailer reached out to Michael Amkreutz, Guitar Center’s Executive Vice President, Marketing, Merchandising and E-Commerce, for comment about this late-breaking news. Below is a portion of the statement that he provided:
After a comprehensive evaluation of our staffing levels, including a detailed benchmarking of staffing levels by function and department compared to similar size specialty retailers, Guitar Center’s leadership team made the difficult decision to reduce corporate and field supervision staff. The reduction included less than one percent of the overall workforce and consisted of reductions at the corporate offices in Westlake Village and field management positions. This action was designed to create a more effective and efficient organization and was based on functional area. Despite this reduction, we continue to actively recruit for a variety of positions in Westlake Village that are matched with the needs of our ongoing growth plans.
Guitar Center thanks these individuals for their dedicated service and we all wish them the best in their future endeavors.
There are no plans to reduce staff at our 260+ stores. Our customer base is strong and for them business will continue as usual. Our store opening and remodeling program continues, as does our ongoing dedication to the opportunities we offer musicians — unparalleled inventory and selection, clinics, lessons, repairs, our nationwide searches and competitions and unmatched service every day. In spite of how difficult these decisions were to make, and the challenges that these reductions present to some of our dedicated associates, this restructuring was made to put us in a more positive position to serve our customers and vendors.
As more information becomes available, we will update this post