Talence, France, early February 2005: After years of work, Antoine Bonnet was finally ready to open the guitar store he’d always dreamed about. With little more than 25 square meters of retail space in the bustling Bordeaux suburb in southwestern France, a handful of guitars and sheer will to succeed, he was ready to open GuitarShop.
Fender figured prominently in Bonnet’s plans for his new shop. And so, with the enthusiastic participation of Fender’s French resources and within only a few busy years, GuitarShop moved to a new 400-square-meter facility in 2008 with more than 1,000 instruments on hand, established a highly successful online presence with its ever-growing website, and opened a new 120-square-meter Marseille store in 2010.
Fender remains a big part of GuitarShop, which is clearly evident upon entering the spacious Talence location. Within, customers will find themselves at one of France’s premier Fender dealers, greeted by a wealth of guitars and basses from Fender’s many North American instrument series, including American Standard, American Deluxe and American Special models. They’ll also find many great models from Squier and other acclaimed members of the Fender family, including Gretsch, Guild and Jackson.
And then they’ll get to the really good stuff, because GuitarShop also happens to be a well-stocked Fender Custom Shop dealer.
“Fender is iconic,” Bonnet said. “It’s the reference brand for all the greatest guitarists. Whether you are a professional musician, a Custom Shop aficionado or a beginner, you can find the gear you need at GuitarShop.”
Further, GuitarShop boasts a vigorous and well-designed online presence, on which many of its Fender wares are prominently featured for all of France to experience.
Today, GuitarShop has nine employees, and one of its main strengths is that most of them are active guitarists with sound technical skills—important in discerning what customers really want and need. And quite often what they really want and need is Fender.
“It’s simply my favorite brand,” Bonnet added. “Every time we come up with new projects or ideas to create events, Fender is here to support us. And what’s really striking for us is that Fender truly preserves and shares the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll with us.”