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Guitar Center has announced the grand opening of the retailer’s brand new store location in world-renowned Times Square, further cementing Guitar Center as the leading force in the industry. The new store is located at 218 W. 44th St. and opens its doors at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 7, 2014. This opening coincides with another milestone for Guitar Center as the retailer celebrates its 50th anniversary year.
Standing as the 262nd store nationwide, Guitar Center Times Square location is housed in what was the original New York Times building, updated with a modern look by award-winning design firm Eight Inc. (Apple, Nike). True to all Guitar Center stores, the Times Square location will foster a hands-on environment in which customers are encouraged to interact with the wide selection of instruments and a dedicated staff of unparalleled experts.
To commemorate such a momentous occasion, Guitar Center will host a Grand Opening Weekend, kicking off on Thursday night with a performance by hip-hop icons and current Tonight Show house band The Roots, across the street from the new store at the Best Buy Theater. Tickets will be given away at New York-based Guitar Center locations in the days leading up to the event. Locations and times can be found at guitarcenter.com/timessquare.
Guitar Center Times Square will feature a number of programs such as in-house lesson facility Guitar Center Studios, free Recording Made Easy classes, in-house rental department, a hands-on electronic music department, and onsite guitar repair service GC Garage. Innovative features unique to this location include a Fender custom shop where craftsmen tailor guitars to unique specifications, a boutique pedal selection in a stunning 360-degree display, and The Platinum Club, which showcases top-of-the-line, high-end luxury guitars.
“Joining the caliber of retailers that have established a presence in Times Square over the years is a huge accomplishment and a statement as to how far the brand has come,” says Mike Pratt, Guitar Center CEO. “By opening a Guitar Center in such a visible, high-traffic area as Times Square, we are able to open more eyes to the inherent joy that comes from playing an instrument. The store is amazing, and we can’t wait to share it with our customers. It’s a proud moment for all of us at Guitar Center.”
“Guitar Center is one of the few brands out there working to inspire people to make music. They are able to survive in a culture that supports creativity and musicianship, just like us,” says Questlove. “New York is where I reside and Times Square is the heartbeat of the city, so to have Guitar Center in the center of it all is an exciting moment for New York musicians.”
Additionally, throughout the weekend the Times Square store will feature exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events. Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster, purchased by Guitar Center for $959,500 at a Christie’s Auction to raise funds for Crossroads Centre Antigua, will be on display all weekend, and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci will be greeting customers in the store on Saturday at 2 p.m.