Guitar Center Revises Estimates

Westlake Village, CA—Specialty cataloger/retailer Guitar Center, which mails the Musican’s Friend catalog (Nasdaq NMS: GTRC), is lowering third quarter forecasts based on the effects of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Net sales for the third quarter are currently expected to be approximately $219 million-$222 million.

Guitar Center currently anticipates that retail sales, including sales from American Music Group, will be between $186 million and $188 million for the third quarter. For the period from July 1 through Aug. 31, comparable store sales were 6%. The company anticipates comparable store sales of approximately 2% to 3% for the third quarter.

“For the past two weeks in September, sales in our Guitar Center retail stores and sales in our direct response division have been well below plan. While sales in our Guitar Center retail stores in July and August were in line with our prior guidance, due to recent events, sales in these stores for the month of September have run approximately $6 million, or 10%, below our plan,” said Larry Thomas, chairman/co-CEO of Guitar Center in a statement. Sales in Guitar Center retail stores were off over 70% on Sept. 11, due to store closings in the metropolitan New York area and in Pittsburgh that day. But since that date, the company says comparable store sales have gradually improved.

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