Guitar Center: Going Green

April 22, 2008 by Tony Barthel

As part of its efforts to protect the environment and earth’s resources, Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument and professional audio retailer, has made major changes to its operational procedures, already yielding significant results. This ongoing “Green” initiative reduces the company’s carbon footprint and conserves fuel and wood resources.

In 2007, Guitar Center halted the use of wooden pallets when shipping product from its Distribution Center to all 214 Guitar Center Stores, and instead began floor-loading all musical instrument and audio products. This simple change in policy has wide-reaching environmental benefits.

First, it eliminates the need for 211,812 wooden pallets yearly, equaling over 8,000,000 pounds of lumber. Secondly, the elimination of shrink-wrap reduced more than 70 million square feet of plastic from GC’s supply chain. That is enough plastic to create a four foot-wide path from New York to Los Angeles.

Finally, this decrease in pallet usage allows GC’s trucks to be packed more efficiently, resulting in more product being shipped per truckload and effecting a reduction in outbound truck usage overall. For example, in 2007, GC saw only 4,604 outbound truckloads from the Distribution Center, less than 50% of the 9,471 loads in 2006. This eases road congestion and reduces total miles traveled by more than 2,000,000 miles per year (enough to circle the Earth 83 times or make four round trips to the moon!). In addition, this “green” initiative conserves 383,950 gallons of diesel fuel yearly, thereby significantly reducing GC’s emission of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Bill Deeney EVP – Guitar Center Chief Logistics Officer stated, “Earth Day is the perfect time to take stock of what we are all doing to protect the environment. Guitar Center is committed to optimizing our supply chain and reducing environmental impact. Eliminating over 50% of our outbound transportation has a huge impact on reducing both fuel and packaging. It’s a real “win-win” for our customers, employees and the environment.”

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the leading United States retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates more than 200 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s Web site at

Tony Barthel Tony Barthel (67 Posts)

Anthony (Tony) Barthel has been a DJ since 1986 with a unique take on marketing that has resulted in over 1,000 events personally performed. In that time Tony’s weird sense of humor and unique perspective on the world got him started collecting these stories and sharing them with friends and other wedding professionals. Born in Baden, Switzerland Tony celebrates the unusual and outlandish as part of his lifestyle. He was married to Peggy Sue in 2005 in what his friends describe as the most unusual wedding ceremony and reception they’ve ever been to. The ceremony was in a 1928 movie theater complete with giant Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and the reception lasted for two days including a gathering in an ocean side lagoon with 400 of their closest friends.

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