The end of a legend

In Vancouver at least: Last two A&B stores in Vancouver have closed (News 1130)

Photo: “A&B Sound Closed” by Eric Eggertson

For most of the 1990s, I have bought a lot of my CDs, and even a stereo, from A&B Sound. It has been a local institution, mainly through its “legendary” Boxing Day sales. But it really hasn’t been the same since it filed for protection from creditors and was subsequently purchased by Seanix Computers earlier this decade. The last time I went there was to its flagship store on Seymour Street last month. I knew it was the beginning of the end when they started to sell everything at a 50% discount.

Even though there are still five stores in operation, A&B will likely go the way of Sam the Record Man and Music World – hit by a double-whammy of being unable to compete with big-box outlets and the advent of music downloads, they just weren’t able to make the transition.

All is not lost in Vancouver, however: Zulu, Scratch, Red Cat, and many other fine independent outlets provide great selections for the discerning music fan, and hopes are that they will continue to thrive despite the dramatic changes in music retail.

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