Old vintage stereo cassette/radio recorder. Isolated on white background,
Music History

Did you ever shop at these defunct Canadian electronics stores?

[I wrote this for GlobalNews.ca for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday crowd. -AC]

If you’re of a certain age, you probably went through a phase when you spent an unholy amount of money on stereo equipment. Yes, we wanted it loud, but we also wanted accuracy and clarity. Everyone was an audiophile, be it for the stereo system in the bedroom or in the car.

This time of year always reminds me of those days.

When I was growing up, Christmas break was reserved for a family trip to the Holiday Inn in Fargo, a couple of hours south of Winnipeg. Several afternoons were set aside for shopping at the nearby West Acres Mall with its dozens of American stores featuring goods so coveted by Canadians.

While mom went shopping for clothes and white goods, I’d spend hours at the Team Electronics store, looking at the hi-fi gear of my dreams, all of which was featured in their awesome glossy catalogue.

Back home, when teachers had one of their professional development days, a group of friends and I would hitch a ride into the city where we’d spend a big chunk of the day touring as many stereo stores as we could. We’d pose as customers looking for new gear (especially speakers) and ask the salespeople to demonstrate the equipment using our favourite albums. Not only was it an education in consumer electronics, but it was also super-cheap entertainment.

Team Electronics is long-gone now, first morphing into a computer retailer called FirstTech before closing entirely in 2012. So are many of the local stereo shops I used to frequent. Some were single location independents like Ron’s Stereo and TV…

… while others had a wider footprint. I bought my first stereo gear (a 12-watt Sansui receiver, an Akai turntable, and some no-name speakers) at one of Krazy Kelly’s locations.

Keep reading. There are many memories coming up.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38453 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

5 thoughts on “Did you ever shop at these defunct Canadian electronics stores?

  • I used to get all my Canadian band CDs that I could not find in the USA or were overpriced as “imports” from A&B sound back in the 90s. They really did have the best pricing and would not charge extra tp ship to the USA.

  • I spent huge amounts of money at A&B Sound back in the day. Almost all of the stereo gear I still use I bought there. Plus their CD selection was second to none. The downtown Edmonton location had a ton of the oddball stuff I was into, including imports.

  • My first Advent speakers were from Stereo King in the Junction, my first Sansui integrated amp from Toronto Hi-Fi on Yonge Street and my first Sony RTR from Fairview Electronics, home of the Pete and Geets radio remotes.

  • Aside, I do not understand how 2001 Audio/Video is still in business

  • I worked at House of Stein on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg while I was going to High School. They sold Sansui as their leading high end stereo equipment and tons of other brands but Sansui was king of the top end with their integrated amp SU 777. We could rattle the plate glass windows in our listening room at 1/3 volume on that baby. Man what a killer amp.
    I bought a pair of Empire Celestian speakers (octagon with the 15″ bass speaker facing downwards and marble tops) from Kelly’s on Portage in 1975. I still have them and they continue to impress people who hear them for the first time.
    Another very popular stereo store in Winnipeg was American Hi Fi downtown. Bought a Nakamichi tape deck there back in the day.


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.