Is Guitar Center Hanging By A String?
Could the world's largest instrument retailer be ready to sing bye bye, Miss American Pie?
That may indeed be the case for Guitar Center. The S&P recently reduced the retailer's corporate credit rating further into junk status. S&P does not see the retailer — with more than 250 stores across the U.S. — improving its credit metrics given high leverage and weak cash flow, especially as more than $600M in notes mature in April of next year, according to MarketWatch.
Guitar Center remains in operation, just on a watch list with a host of other retailers in precarious positions. That means the retailer is susceptible to any shocks, including a recession or a sharper drop in guitar sales, Digital Music News reports. Lower guitar sales are also the source of guitar-maker Gibson's tribulations. Gibson is saddled with more than $500M in debt coming due this summer.
“In both cases, these businesses have been unable to adapt to a precipitous slide in guitar sales. Younger buyers, who once drove the guitar surge, have now shifted towards [Electronic Dance Music], rap, and less guitar-driven indie music — even though interest in music itself has never been higher,” Digital Music News reports.
The company has not announced any store closures; it recently announced a new store in Delray Beach, Florida, and a revamped store in Bloomington, Minnesota.