GAK started life as a humble market stall on Kensington Place around the corner from where the shop now stands today.
Back then the shop was a one-man operation, inspired by a desire to challenge the culture of stuffy guitar stores. Having noticed the trend for unenthusiastic service elsewhere, Gary Marshall bought a book about vintage guitars, set up shop, and stocked it with his own guitar collection.
Gary admits; “When I came in I didn’t know nothing, straight off a building site I was a ragamuffin”, but Brighton wasn’t the music mecca it is today, Denmark Street was still dominating sales in the
south, and Gary had to build his reputation from scratch. Sure enough, his fresh and friendly attitude, and willingness to strike a deal propelled the business forward; the market stall moved to its first premises, and Gary hired his first employees.
In our first year, the shop saw such a substantial and steady increase in business that Gary knew he’d need to expand again. Twenty something years later the GAK megastore now takes up a huge portion of one of the main North Laine concourses, visible from a distance through the vibrant and colourful streets of Brighton’s most famous district.
Now the shop and website supports over 70 employees, and we enjoy the role of being one of the UK’s most loved Musical Instrument retailers, both throughout Europe, with our comprehensive website, and in our hometown of Brighton, where the store has established itself as, as much a tourist attraction as the beach.
Keen to keep support local and national music, GAK has partnered with such established organisations as BBC, The Great Escape, The Brighton Fringe, BIMM, Access To Music, Download Festival and many more.
Now celebrating their 25th year of business, Gary maintains, “It just happened, I didn’t play anything out it happened organically, other people around me made it happen.”
Congratulations to Gary and the GAK team!
Address: 76-82 North Road
Phone: 01273 672977
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 9:30am-5:30pm; Sun: 11am-4pm