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Guitar Center Opens First Store Beyond Continental U.S.

FOH Staff • News • May 14, 2019

A blessing ceremony takes place during the grand opening of the Pearl City Guitar Center, Friday, May10, 2019 in Pearl City, Hawaii. (Marco Garcia/AP Images for Guitar Center )

PEARL CITY, HI – Guitar Center opened the first retail store outside of the continental U.S., holding a grand opening ceremony May 10. It’s the third of six planned store openings this year.

More details from Guitar Center (

Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, celebrates the opening of its newest retail location – a 19,000-square-foot facility in Pearl City, Hawaii (1000 Kamehameha Hwy. Pearl City, HI 96782). The store marks a major milestone for Guitar Center as its first store opening outside of the 48 contiguous U.S. states and its third of six planned openings for 2019. Guitar Center Pearl City offers an expansive set of services and gear to serve the music needs of the community.

The grand opening took place on Friday, May 10, 2019, kicking off with a special gala celebration that lasted all weekend, including special in-store offerings. Prominent Guitar Center executives were in attendance, including CEO Ron Japinga and EVP of Store Operations Wayne Cowell. Weekend festivities included live music by award-winning local talent, exclusive giveaways, specials on lessons and rentals, and much more.

“The opening of our first store outside of the continental U.S. is a landmark moment for Guitar Center and reaffirms our company’s ongoing strategy for long-term growth and expansion,” stated Guitar Center’s Ron Japinga. “Today’s musicians are looking for accessibility to a large number of brands and services, and the new store reflects the future of retail experiences by offering a completely immersive experience for the music community in Pearl City and beyond.”

The opening celebration began with Councilmember Brandon Elefante, State Representative Gregg Takayama and Senator Brenne Harimoto presenting Japinga, Cowell and Guitar Center Pearl City Store Manager Tim Ball with honorary certificates, followed by a presentation by the husband-wife team behind Kanile’a Ukuleles. Acclaimed musician and ordained minister Kahu Kawika Kahiapo then conducted an official “blessing” ceremony. The evening then featured live entertainment from award-winning local musicians such as Anuhea and Kawika Kahiapo, as well as GRAMMY-nominated Polynesian musician Josh Tatofi. Additionally, the Pearl City High School Band Ensemble performed and was presented with a grant of wind instruments including flutes, trumpets, trombones and saxophones, donated by the Guitar Center Music Foundation.

Guitar Center Pearl City is a destination music store featuring showrooms filled with guitars, drums, keys, live sound, DJ and recording. The store includes a wide array of gear to help musicians find their sound – wherever they are on their musical journey. In addition to carrying the latest products, the new store also features a hands-on electronic music experience, rentals, repairs and a contemporary lessons academy that is well-suited for today’s musician. Additionally, Guitar Center is the first music retailer to recycle instrument strings in Hawaii.

Guitar Center Pearl City includes features only found locally such as:

A 43-ft wall dedicated to Taylor brand acoustics and ukuleles that showcases local Hawaiian talent playing the ukuleles, such as Kapena, Pomaika’i, Keauhou and Kolohe Kai, to name a few.

A 16-ft wall dedicated exclusively to ukuleles – featuring Kanile’a Ukuleles and a vast assortment of up to 100 models.

A beautiful Koa Tonewood display dedicated to the rich Hawaiian heritage of the iconic koa tree – which provides a uniquely appealing tonewood for musical instruments, such as guitars and ukuleles. (To help replenish the native Hawaiian forests, Guitar Center is proud to partner with REFOREST HAWAI`I to plant more than 200 koa trees in the sacred Kona forest.)

Pearl City shoppers are also able to enjoy Guitar Center’s multi-channel “endless aisle,” which gives customers the ability to combine in-store, online and phone options to purchase music equipment from anywhere.

Guitar Center Pearl City store and studio hours:

Monday – Friday         10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday               10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday                 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

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