Mega-music retailer Guitar Center filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

 Mega-music retailer Guitar Center filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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They can’t string this out any longer.

Guitar Center, the nation’s largest musical instrument retailer, is filing for bankruptcy, according to a report.

With the economy out of tune due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mega-music chain said it’s filing for Chapter 11 protection as it tries to keep its 269 locations afloat while battling an ongoing dip in sales, CNN reported Sunday.

“This is an important and positive step in our process to significantly reduce our debt and enhance our ability to reinvest in our business to support long-term growth,” company CEO Ron Japinga said in a statement. “We will continue to serve our customers and deliver on our mission of putting more music in the world.”

The 61-year-old retailer was forced to shutter many of its stores in March amid the spread of the deadly virus by offering online guitar lessons and deals on instruments, CNN said.

But the company’s primary owner, Ares Management Corporation, has been unable to stave off declining sales that began to slide even before the COVID-19 lockdown due to diminished foot traffic at the shopping malls.

Guitar Center is relying on a $165 million infusion of new investments and $800 million in reduced debt by lenders to try to stay in business.

The company said it hopes to have complete its bankruptcy filing by the end of the year, CNN said.