You could say that in the 90's Guitar Center underwent monumental changes that impacted both the company and a nation of musicians, and earned G.C. the phrase, "The largest Musical Instrument retailer in the world."
By this time, Larry Thomas had assumed the position of Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, while in 1996 Marty Albertson became President and Co-Chief Executive officer. The company's growth in this time period surpassed any other Musical Instrument retailer in the world, with the opening of nearly 70 stores during the decade. With a clear-cut vision of where they wanted to go, G.C. opened stores in smaller markets, helping cultivate the Musical Instrument Market. Grand openings were taking place at a rate of 1 to 2 stores a month. A Guitar Center grand opening is not your typical store opening. These events draw hundreds of kids and adults, local news media, and sometimes major networks like MTV, VH1 & CNN.
1997 marked the year G.C. went public. Soon after, they purchased the catalog company, Musician's Friend, and have seen solid revenue growth with the acquisition.