A national retail music store is setting up shop in south Chico.
The Guitar Center opens on Thursday in Chico, bringing with it several new jobs and more money for the local economy.
Often when a big retailer comes in, little retailers worry about what competition will do to their bottom line.
“We've received a lot of great buzz wherever we go. People are asking questions and can't wait to check out the new store,” said Store Director Michael Carrillo.
Guitar Center has been called the Wal-Mart of music stores. While the store isn't quite as big as the retail giant, as music stores go, it's sizable.
Fifteen people have already been hired, and they are still looking for musicians to offer lessons.
“I'm just stoked just having a job doing what I love,” said Guitar Center’s new hire, Kevin Valenzuela.
Valenzuela graduated from Chico State with a degree in musical composition and recording arts last May.
“When I graduated it was really difficult to find a job,” said Valenzuela. “I really love the area and I wanted to stay in Chico for awhile if I could before I started grad school. When Guitar Center came along I was very happy.”
Not everyone is singing that tune, Jennifer Meng and her husband own a guitar place that sits off of Mangrove Avenue. She admits that she is worried, but has faith in her loyal customers.
“We believe our personal service will counteract any competition that we'll be facing,” says Meng.
Chico City Manager Brain Nakamura said his opinion was that Guitar Center would not drive away small businesses.
He said that because Guitar Center sits on the south side of the city and Chicoans support local businesses, that this could be a win-win situation.
“People will still frequently visit local businesses and they support local business but they also find opportunities for major retailers as well,” said Nakamura.
Guitar Center plans to open on Thursday night.