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Guitar Center picks Fargo's West Acres mall for new store

The music retailer has begun construction on an 11,380-square-foot store in the former Best Buy building on the shopping center's campus.

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Construction is underway at 1615 38th St. S. on a new Guitar Center store on the campus of the West Acres Shopping Center. The store, seen Saturday, March 26, 2022, is between the Boot Barn and Foss Swim School in a building that was the former location of Best Buy.
The Forum: Helmut Schmidt

FARGO - Guitar Center is planning to strike a power chord in Fargo.

The California-based music retailer has begun fitting up its first North Dakota store in the former Best Buy building on the campus of the West Acres Shopping Center.

The store at 1615 38th St. S. will be 11,380 square feet. Construction costs are estimated at $500,000, according to a permit filed March 22 with the city Inspections Department.

West Acres began talks with Guitar Center back in 2019.

The mall's managers are glad they got in tune with Guitar Center and anticipate a harmonious relationship.

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“We just finalized the lease and they will be opening this fall,” Alissa Adams, COO of West Acres Development said Friday, March 25. “We’re excited to welcome them to the property.”

Guitar Center will be between Foss Swim School and Boot Barn , Adams said. That leaves one more empty retail bay in the building to be filled.

There are nearly 300 Guitar Center locations around the nation. The stores sell, rent and repair musical instruments, as well as offering music lessons.

The Forum requested comment from Guitar Center but has not yet received a reply from the company’s media relations department.

The music retailer filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2020, one of many businesses hurt by the restrictions on its business model by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Guitar Center quickly straightened out its affairs, emerging from the bankruptcy process at the end of December of that year. Along the way, it shed more than $800 million in debt. It also bolstered its finances with $350 million in secured notes, an asset-based facility of $375 million (a form of credit linked to a fluctuating pool of assets), and $165 million in new equity investments.

Guitar Center’s sister brands include:

  • Music & Arts. It operates more than 200 stores specializing in band and orchestral instruments for sale and rental.
  • Musician’s Friend. It is a leading direct marketer of musical instruments in the United States.
  • Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG). It designs, engineers and installs audio, video and lighting systems for homes and businesses.
  • Woodwind & Brasswind. It is an online retailer of band and orchestra instruments.

The company’s website is www.guitarcenter.com .

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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