Impending Guitar Center bankruptcy isn’t expected to affect Peoria location

Nick Vlahos
Reports suggest the Guitar Center music-store chain is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but the landlord of its Peoria store expects no changes in business.

PEORIA — Guitar Center intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the musical-instrument retailer, which has a store in Peoria, also intends to remain in business.

Reports over the weekend suggested Guitar Center has negotiated with its investors a deal that reduces its debt.

The California-based retailer has about 300 Guitar Center outlets, including one at Westlake Shopping Center, 2601 W. Lake Ave. The store sells guitars, bass guitars, drums, amplifiers and other musical gear. It also offers lessons and repairs.

Westlake developer Les Cohen characterized the Peoria store as a regional Guitar Center fulfillment location for online sales. Those have been booming, at least at Guitar Center’s flagship store in Hollywood.

But online revenues weren’t expected to make up for in-store transactions lost because of closures during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a USA Today report.

Still, the report also suggested Guitar Center officials like the chain’s current size.

“This sounds like a friendly restructuring,” Cohen stated about the impending bankruptcy filing. “While anything can happen, we don’t anticipate any interruptions in the normal course of business.

“It’s going to be a long and bumpy flight before we land safely, but on the other side of the pandemic, we do expect Guitar Center to be a survivor.”

Recently, Westlake announced a branch of the clothing retailer formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory is to open there sometime next year.

Journal Star