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GC Expands as S&P Downgrades Company's Rating

This past spring, Guitar Center opened four new stores as Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its ratings outlook on GC from stable to negative. S&P also affirmed all existing ratings on the company, including a B- corporate credit rating.

"Our ratings on Guitar Center reflect our assessment that the company's liquidity is 'less than adequate' but sufficient to avoid a default within two years," said S&P's report.

GC's recent opening brought its total number of stores to 228. April 19 marked the first of these openings in North Charlotte, N.C. This store features Guitar Center Studios, GC's in-house music lesson facility, and GC Garage, its on-site guitar repair service. During the following month, GC also opened stores in Coconut Creek, Fla.; Pasadena, Texas; and North Portland, Ore. These feature Guitar Center Studios and GC Garage, as well.

Supplier Honors
Sennheiser also recently named Guitar Center its 2011 Dealer of the Year.
According to a statement from Sennheiser, it awarded GC for its "excellent sales, customer support and comprehension of Sennheiser's diverse line of microphones, wireless systems and headphones."

"We are pleased to announce that Guitar Center has once again captured the Dealer of the Year award for our music retail division," said Bill Whearty, Sennheiser's vice president of sales and marketing, retail division. "Guitar Center continues to excel in sales of Sennheiser headphones and microphones and has once again achieved impressive year-over-year sales growth."

"We are pleased to once again be recognized as Sennheiser's MI Dealer of the Year," said Bill Wrightson, GC's vice president of technology merchandise. "Sennheiser continues to represent a very important part of our product offering to consumers, and we continue to receive excellent feedback — particularly on Sennheiser microphones and headphones."