How does guitarguitar inspire current and future music creators and learners?
At guitarguitar we are pretty much all still actively creating, learning about, and immersing ourselves in music and I think that comes across in the experience we offer; we aim to inspire and support musicians by being accessible, approachable, and knowledgeable. We let anyone have access to get hands on with the guitar or instrument of their dreams; even though we have a lot of high-end and high-price product, we are not exclusive or exclusionary. We believe that there’s power in that moment where you try a really amazing guitar for the first time and go “wow!” because it happened to all of us, at one time or another!
We run our maintenance masterclasses and workshops to give friendly, straightforward and actionable advice to people so they can look after their instrument and get the very best from it, and host in-store clinics and events with artists so you can be inspired by seeing world-class musicians up close, asking them questions and hearing them explain their music and the gear they use, and why.
What’s the best thing about having multiple stores in locations across the country?
Undoubtedly being able to engage face to face with a wide range of musicians; whether someone plays in a club band in Glasgow, is learning their first few chords at school in Newcastle or playing professionally in London, we give them access to the unsurpassed range of products we work hard to curate and maintain.
If someone visits Birmingham, not only do we have the best selection of instruments you’ll find in the city but the rest of our website’s massive offering is only normally a day away from the store, or the customer’s door!
Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle, London are all such big cities for music and it’s a privilege to be a part of the musical culture of each.
How does guitarguitar proactively engage with and serve the music community?
We do everything from running in-store events featuring artists performing or doing Q&A in an intimate setting, giving customers the chance to meet their heroes “up close” to offering maintenance masterclasses and pedal workshops where we answer those niggling questions you might feel silly asking (although you shouldn’t!).
We work with local schools and education centres to make sure they have the best equipment for learners and students to hone their skills on and have run charity events in several stores to benefit local organisations.
We also partner with the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, donating instruments, equipment, and finances to aid the important work they do across the UK.We are the first UK music retailer to offer a 3-year warranty on all new products we stock; we believe in what we sell.
guitarguitar recently moved to employee ownership, why was this important?
The move to EO was really exciting and important for our team, because it rewards them with the stewardship of the company moving forward. The employees of guitarguitar are trusted to make the right decisions to keep the company successful in future, and that’s one of the biggest compliments we could receive.
Employee Ownership secures the future for the business without disruption, external investment or any changes to the winning formula we’ve been refining for 18 years and gives our people security, stability and continuity moving into the future.
How do you manage to encourage the sense of creativity amongst your team, that is evident in your social profile?
I think this takes care of itself! Because our team are almost all active and talented guitar players, engineers, pianists, drummers, creators, gigging musicians, or some combination thereof we tend to find that they are naturally creative people. Combine that with a passion for inspiring other musicians and for providing an amazing environment to shop in and the result is what you see in our social output.
We are lucky to also have a lot of people skilled in other fields like web and graphic design, photography and videography which means that the ideas and creativity in the team can be brought to life.