Hundreds of customers lined Boylston Street waiting for a peek inside Guitar Center’s new location Thursday night.
The new Guitar Center location moved from its 750 Commonwealth Ave. location last week, and welcomed customers with giveaways, musical entertainment and sales to celebrate the new space.
Guitar Center Executive Vice President of stores Gene Joly said Guitar Center had outgrown its Commonwealth Avenue location years ago and Joly and his coworkers had been looking for a new space for a long time. The new location will carry more products in hopes of attracting more business, Joly said.
‘Real estate is very hard to get in the city, so every five years we would look around and not find anything and renew the lease, but this time around we got lucky,’ Joly said.
The new location is two and a half times the size of the old location, Joly said.
‘ Although Joly said he is excited about the new store, he is concerned about moving far away from the Boston University campus. About 20 percent of the store’s business came from BU students, he said. However, the new location will also attract more business from Berklee College of Music students, he said.
‘We do not want to lose any business, so we are going to have to do more things to remain visible within the Boston University student population,’ Joly said.
With extended inventory, a new guitar repair shop and a high-end audio room, Joly said he is confident that customers will be motivated to make the trip to the Boylston Street location.
‘Our philosophy is, we want the people to be able to try out guitars, try out audio gear and all that,’ Joly said. ‘Instead of this being a place where you walk in, pay money and walk out, we want people to have an experience.’
Customers said they were impressed with the grand opening, which included a live performance by an Elvis impersonator and free tee shirts.
‘I think it is great, especially because it is close to my house,’ Matteo Stronati, a Berklee junior, said it is a great store and I am really enjoying the day.’
Tyler Brooks, an employee at the original Guitar Center store who now works in the new location, said that it was unlike any music store he had ever seen.
‘I think our business is going to skyrocket,’ Brooks said. ‘The location is wonderful . . . Look around; it makes everything look really good. The old store looked like a basement.’
Lida Lee, 27, came from Cambridge to the grand opening because her husband loves Guitar Center.
‘I like it better,’ Lee said. ‘The other place it was hard to find parking, and you parked in that little garage. It was horrible. I like it here. It’s more open.’
Aaron Colverson, a Berklee senior, said the sales convinced him to attend the grand opening, and the location will bring him back for more in the future.
‘I have only been to the Comm. store once or twice,’ Colverson said. ‘But they did a really, really good job building this place . . . It is really attractive to see.’