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Guitar Center sings a different credit tune


Aspiring musicians with big dreams but no way to pay for them now have options thanks to a new credit initiative launched at the nation’s leading musical instrument retailer.

Guitar Center, operator of 260 stores nationwide, and Synchrony Bank, formerly GE Capital Retail Finance, reached a multi-year agreement that allows Guitar Center to provide a private label credit card program. The program is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2015 and also includes a stipulation that Synchrony Bank acquire the assets of an existing card program.

“A large and growing number of our customers’ purchases involve financing, and having an integrated credit card program we can offer is important for us,” said Susan Starnes, senior vice president of services for Guitar Center. “We look forward to working with Synchrony Financial’s team to use their insights, tools and resources to help us enhance customer loyalty and the shopping experience.”

According to Glenn Marino, executive vice president and CEO of Synchrony Financial’s Payment Solutions platform, the availability of financing plays an important role in the purchasing of musical instruments and accessories. The bank said its third annual third annual Major Purchase Consumer Study found that 72% of music shoppers “always seek promotional financing,” and 77% of respondents said that the availability of financing is “very important” when choosing a retailer.

Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ, and lighting equipment. The company operates 260 stores under the Guitar Center banner in addition to 120 Music & Arts stores specializing in band and orchestral instruments for sale and rental focused on serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students.

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