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GUITAR CENTER CONTINUES TO EXPAND AS IT OPENS NEW STORE LOCATION IN SALEM, OREGON

— Company hits milestone with 225th location —

— New store offers on-site lessons and repair services —

Westlake Village, CA (February 27, 2012) – On February 16, 2012, Guitar Center hit a milestone by opening its 225th retail location, Guitar Center Salem, at 6325 Ulali Drive NE, Keizer, OR 97303. Guitar Center Salem’s grand opening introduced customers to a vast selection of products and a dedicated staff with unparalleled musical knowledge and experience. To commemorate the store opening, Guitar Center hosted a Grand Opening Weekend celebration (Feb. 16-19) featuring exclusive savings, gear giveaways and free events for local musicians. The grand opening also included free live performances throughout the weekend.

Guitar Center’s newest Oregon location features showrooms equipped with the latest products for musicians – from guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments and keyboards to live sound, DJ, lighting and recording equipment. In addition to the special Grand Opening Weekend programming, shoppers who came out early also enjoyed exclusive savings throughout opening weekend, including deals on guitar and drum essentials.

“The opening of our 225th store in Salem, Oregon, is truly a landmark occasion for Guitar Center,” commented Gene Joly, Guitar Center Executive VP of Stores. “Our Salem location further underscores Guitar Center’s ongoing commitment to our customers, and to providing an extensive range of products, services and events. Like all openings in the past year the Salem location reflects our new open format design principles and streamlined merchandising layout.”

The new store also features Guitar Center Studios, an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility, which will create unrivalled opportunities for Salem musicians of all ages and skill levels. Guitar Center Studios provides music lessons from beginner to advanced featuring certified instructors teaching world-class curriculum as well as one-on-one courses on Pro Tools, Logic Pro and GarageBand. Guitar Center Studios is now the most modern and affordable lessons facility in the area. Guitar Center Salem also features GC Garage, Guitar Center’s on site guitar repair service. Musicians were able to try out the GC Garage for free on Grand Opening night (Feb. 16). With a guitar purchase, customers also received a free, 22-point personalized set-up.

As part of Guitar Center’s initiatives designed to educate and inspire artists nationwide, Guitar Center Salem offers unique opportunities for musicians to craft their skills, maintain their instruments and experience many other aspects of the music industry first-hand. Musicians interested in learning about the industry are able to come to the store to interact with and ask questions of several industry leaders. Free “Recording Made Easy” classes are conducted every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Salem shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s new multi-channel “endless aisle,” which includes multiple combinations of product options to conveniently choose from. Not only does the “endless aisle” include Salem inventory, but it also provides easy access to $400 million in new and used inventory located in hundreds of stores and warehouses across the nation. Customers have the ability to combine a variety of in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere they may be, allowing for a personalized and convenient shopping experience.

In addition to special programs at the new Salem store, Guitar Center offers nationwide programs designed to spearhead creativity and highlight the nation’s most promising undiscovered talent. Salem residents will now be able to participate in these ongoing national events from their hometown:

Guitar Center On-Stage is an annual competition that provides unsigned artists the chance to open for established artists such as Motley Crue, KISS and Jane’s Addiction.

Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter is an artist discovery program that aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. The winner receives a career-altering prize package including recording three songs with accomplished GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer John Shanks, recording time at the state-of-the-art Brooklyn-based Converse Rubber Tracks studio and $10,000 cash. The grand finale took place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.

Guitar Center’s King of the Blues is a nationwide amateur guitar skills competition with the goal of finding the next great undiscovered blues guitar player. This year’s winner, Jonathon “Boogie” Long, performed alongside GRAMMY-winning guitarist Warren Haynes at the Grand Finals in LA, and won an incredible prize package valued at over $50,000.

Guitar Center’s Drum-Off, entering its 24th year, is the nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer. Drummers from across the nation compete in the world’s largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Champion. The grand prize package is valued at nearly $50,000.

Guitar Center Salem is open seven days a week. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Guitar Center Studio hours follow the same schedule.

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