Wayne Colwell

January 27, 2023 I Interview

Guitar Center Opens 300th Store

By Katie Kailus

​On Jan. 26, Guitar Center launched its 300th store with the grand opening of its new Naples, Florida, location. In response to the milestone, Music Inc. exclusively sat down with Wayne Colwell, EVP of stores for Guitar Center, to discuss the meaning of 300 stores, hear about GC’s plan for 2023 and more.

Music Inc.: Congrats on the 300th opening. Can you give us some details on the new store?

Wayne Colwell: Our 300th Guitar Center location opened on Jan. 26, in Naples, Florida, and we held a grand-opening celebration that morning which extended into the rest of that weekend with special deals, giveaways, live music and much more. The store is a 14,990-square-foot facility located at 13585 Tamiami Trail North in Naples.

MI: What went into choosing this location?

WC: We were well aware of the rich history of musicianship in Florida, but we noticed that having a retail presence in Naples would make it easier for musicians to not have to drive hours to a neighboring community to experience our exclusive gear and service offerings. We’re confident that the musicians in the Naples area will be extremely happy to spend time getting hands-on with the extensive selection of gear available there.

MI: The number 300 is big. What does the 300th opening mean to you and the GC team?

WC: Three-hundred stores is a big accomplishment for any retail brand, and it’s a great time to remind people that we’re seriously dedicated to the ongoing growth of the Guitar Center brand and serving musicians in communities all across the country. With the inclusion of Naples, we have a whole new family of consumers turning to their brand-new local Guitar Center for the latest instruments and accessories, lessons, repairs and service.

MI: How many stores has GC opened post-COVID? And heading into 2023, how many store openings are planned for this year?

WC: We’ve opened eight stores. This Naples location is our ninth. As for 2023, our goal as a company is to help as many people make music as possible, and any milestone like opening the 300th store reinforces that Guitar Center will continue to thrive and grow. We tentatively have several new store openings planned for 2023 and these stores will all have the full complement of Guitar Center services — lessons, repairs, rentals, the retail showroom with knowledgeable associates, as well as a seamless connection with our website, guitarcenter.com. Multiple locations will also have our hands-on DJ concept, which has been extremely popular at our recently opened stores. Additionally, our vintage rooms will continue to be a focus for new locations, offering a strong pedigree of used instruments and gear for discerning musicians.


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