While not exactly a solo effort, Guitar Center added to its band of stores Thursday with its grand opening in North Naples.
The more than 15,000-square-foot music store is the 300th location in the nation for the California-based musical instrument retailer. The new store opened in Gateway Shoppes at North Bay on the northwest corner of Wiggins Pass Road and U.S. 41 North.
“We love Guitar Center in our centers. Always a big draw offering a unique and very cool mix of merchandise. We have them in a dozen of our properties,” said Rex Burgher, executive vice president of national leasing for Benderson Development, which built and owns the North Naples retail center.
To create its latest store, Guitar Center gutted the interior of a former Petco store, which vacated the space last April after operating for 14 years between Bed Bath & Beyond and Bealls. It’s the second regional store and the 21st in Florida for Guitar Center, which also operates a Fort Myers location.
The Naples store incorporates Guitar Center’s latest design, including a new state-of-the-art lessons facility, a rental department and a hands-on DJ experience. The business also offers musical instrument repairs and its showrooms cater to musicians and disc jockeys with products such as guitars, drums, keyboards, amplifiers, lighting and recording equipment. Other products include items such as sheet music and record albums.
The North Naples location also is noteworthy because it’s the 75th Guitar Center deal for Bruce Shepard of SCG Retail, a division of The Shopping Center Group, headquartered in Atlanta.
“Guitar Center has been rocking the retail world for over 50 years,” said Shepard, TSCG’s Manhattan-based broker who has represented Guitar Center for more than 25 years. “I’ve had the privilege of working with GC since the ’90s, helping them expand across the United States.”
Shepard worked closely on the Naples deal with Pedro Vazquez, Guitar Center’s director of real estate. The 10-year lease was signed in mid-2022.
The niche business has experienced a resurgence in the last couple of years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have picked up musical instruments while social distancing at home.
Store hours for the new Guitar Center, 13585 Tamiami Trail N., Unit 8, are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.