Friday, April 17, 2009

Record Stores - Evolution

Another store which played a major role in record retailing on the Yonge Street strip in the 80s was Cheapies. It had a location near Yonge and Wellesley, just down from Records on Wheels/Peddler, which is now Refried Beats, and two locations near Yonge and Dundas. The "Warehouse Store" was vacated after the company was taken over by Quebec's Discus chain and the building was later demolished, with the land forming part of Toronto Life Square.

A tag from Cheapies' "Discus" years.

Currently, the Cheapies brand lives on on King Street in Hamilton where a lone store sells a wide variety of CDs, new and used, DVDs, novelty items, and indeed vinyl.


The granddaddy of Yonge Street record stores, even older than Sam's, was A&A's. Initially being a three level records and book store, the store eventually became one of the better-stocked outlets for both domestic and import titles. Not as broad as Sam's on the domestic front, and nowhere close to the imports carried at Peddler, A&A still managed to have decent prices and decent selection. Sadly, they thought that 'more is better', and they diluted the brand by opening stores at Yonge and Bloor, Yonge and College, Yonge and Richmond AS WELL AS their mega-store at Yonge and Elm. This sort of pissing contestancy did them in and in 1992, they were gone.

Less pay, more Payola$. Priced to move on Boxing Day, 1984.


Sarah McLachlan's first album on Nettwerk with the original artwork. I even have a 'certificate of authenticity' (i.e. register receipt) stuck in the back of the shrinkwrap.


The last version of the A&A price tag, as shown on the Shuffle Demons' classic "Streetniks" release.

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