Last classical record store in the west shuts down

Last classical record store in the west shuts down


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2018

Sikora’s Classical Records in Vancouver has been defeated by Amazon and Spotify.

Read here.


  • Dsvid H Spence says:

    There are still a few independent dealers around, such as Classical Music of Spring (former Joel’s Classical Shop), as now very capably and professionally run by Mike Sumbera, with detailed customer service tailored to all individual needs. It islocated in Old Town Spring, about 25 or 30 miles north of downtown Houston on Keith Street.

  • Martinu says:

    Visited it and had great time chatting with the man in charge and was impressed by the knowledge and attitude.
    Got quite a few discs then.
    Pity, but all record stores are disappearing.. The way of the world..

    • Yoyo Mama says:

      I think it is passivity on the part of music lovers and musicians. Nothing is inevitable.

    • Bill says:

      Largely because you no longer need to buy (and house) numerous circular bits of plastic to get your music fix now. Horse and buggy dealers have also gone the way of the dodo, but people still have personal transportation, often in a more convenient package.

  • Stuart says:

    Record and books stores are the serial victims of new technology and online commerce.

    Amazon started (books) in 1994 or 22 years ago. Hardly new. Tower Records, Rose Records, Foyles were great but I don’t miss them.

  • musiclover says:

    Sad…. I have been going there since 1989… remember visiting the store for the first time to buy Shostakovich Symphony 7 on Casette tape there for my youth orchestra repertoire… the location of the store wasn’t in a safe area, near Hastings street, people with drug addicts.., etc…

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Sad, but is it really the last one?

    Actually when it comes to online cd orders, doesn’t Arkivmusik dominate the north-American market?

  • The View from America says:

    Thank goodness there are many classical record stores thriving in the East. China’s a big market for classical these days.

  • Alexander says:

    what a spitify story …..(sigh)

  • MacroV says:

    Well, that is sad, but what do you mean by “The West?” I’m sure there are other stores out there. There are a number of used record stores in the Montreal Plateau, though not exclusively classical.

    I wonder if another problem in this case is that Vancouver is now one of the most expensive cities in North America; the rent must be a big factor.

  • violafan says:

    We still have The Record Collector here in Los Angeles! (on Melrose ave)

  • Herbert Pauls says:


  • Cyril says:

    I’m not familiar with Sptofy.

  • msc says:

    I presumed he meant western Canada, although he should have specified that. Is there another one? I cannot think of one.
    However, in my limited experience (a visit every five years or so when I am in Vancouver to visit family) Sikora’s selection was disappointingly limited, and its prices higher than most of the other physical stores I would shop at.

  • Peter Liepman says:

    Also on the west coast of the US is the Bay Area’s The Musical Offering CLassical CD Shop and Cafe, across the street from the University of California, Berkeley. They recently acquired an extensive oper collection on both vinyl and CD.

  • Marcus says:

    Amazon and Spotify are only part of the issue. Even if they didn’t exist, traditional retail record stores would still be a thing of the past. The fact is, selling $12- items for piss-poor markups is not compatible with ever spiraling Main Street / mall rental prices, especially when the retailer is expected to carry huge inventories. I’ve worked for the same record retailer since 1974. They recently closed down their bricks-and-mortar operation in favor of on-line sales and moved to a non-retail warehouse, even though the proprietor owned the entire building. One of the other tenants wanted to expand into our space, and the rent they were willing to pay was far greater than anything the CD store could generate.