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Guitar Center Acquires Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG)

Will join its business solutions group

Guitar Center has acquired San Francisco-based Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG). AVDG will serve as a key element of Guitar Center’s business solutions group and expansion into integrated solutions.

The announcement was made today by Doug Carnell, Guitar Center business solutions VP, and further underscores Guitar Center’s strategic business plan to expand and position itself for ongoing growth in the coming years. 

AVDG, No. 43 on the 2017 Top 50 Systems Integrators list published by TWICE sister pub SCN, has distinguished itself in the industry by offering system design and installation in both corporate and residential market sectors, providing Guitar Center an important channel to serve these markets as it continues its outreach into the world of B2B solutions. AVDG will operate as a dedicated arm of the business solutions group, expanding the scope of personalized, account-based services offered by the division.

“Guitar Center has been seeking opportunities to bolster our business solutions group, and we have found an ideal partner in AVDG,” Carnell said. “This mutually beneficial relationship will provide AVDG’s team the vast resources offered by Guitar Center, while opening up Guitar Center’s business solutions group to opportunities in the commercial and residential market sectors.”

“We are excited to join the Guitar Center organization as part of the business solutions group,” said Robert Scharffer, AVDG’s CEO. “We believe that AVDG offers all of our clients more than just A/V integrated solutions; we have become their trusted advisor and business partner. Just as Guitar Center is not your typical musical instrument retailer, AVDG is not just another integrator, and as such we want to continue and grow what we have built. Guitar Center will give us access to additional financial and operational resources, offering new avenues of growth and new opportunities to better support our clients.”

Founded in 1996, and with home base locations in both San Rafael and San Jose, Calif., AVDG is a design-build firm specializing in audiovisual systems for commercial and residential spaces worldwide. More than 80 people make up AVDG’s staff, which includes programmers, installers, design engineers, and technicians from such diverse sectors as gaming, high-tech, financial, legal, health care, education, and hospitality. In 2014, AVDG was acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The business-to-business channel has always been an important sector for our company, and now, with the changes in the marketplace, we’ve decided to apply additional resources to expand our presence to service clientele who are looking for system design and installation of audio, video and lighting solutions and beyond,” said Ron Japinga, president and CEO of Guitar Center. “With this in mind, we are excited to have AVDG join the Guitar Center family and will be looking for other opportunities to grow our brands in the future. This is a natural growth path for our company, because we are unique in being able to leverage our experience in these different product sectors to offer turnkey solutions to our clients.”