In an age where many Canadians listen to music digitally through their phones and devices, a newly-opened Toronto store is trying to capitalize on the nostalgic love of cassettes and records.
“I think it all comes down to the tactile, tangible experience of taking the record out of the sleeve and putting it on to the turntable and dropping the needle, or taking the cassette out of the packaging and pulling out the artwork,” Malin Johnson, manager of the Dupe Shop, told Global News.
The store, located at 1185 Bloor St. W., sells cassettes by local and international artists. It also duplicates CDs, DVDs and VHS videos.
Perhaps most exciting for those who like do-it-yourself projects, the staff at Dupe Shop can help you create mix tapes and custom records.
So what kind of clientele are looking for cassettes?
“We get everyone through here, which is the coolest part – folks who are just curious what cassettes are and what the cassette culture really is,” Johnson said, adding bands have come to the store as they turn to using older forms of media as merchandise.
“(Musicians) are looking for a piece of art – something that is custom and handmade.”
Johnson said the store recently did a limited run of VHS tapes containing a music video and promotional materials for a U.S.-based musician. The tapes were placed at random stores in New York City stores.
“It was an interactive thing. The fans could go out, find the VHS tape and when they found the VHS tape they would put it in and be able to see the music video,” he said, noting participants then needed to embark on a journey to find a VHS player.
“It brings you on a really, really cool adventure down memory lane.”