Putting a spin on vintage

Putting a spin on vintage

Retro 4 Bratz carries movies, music and equipment from across time

Last week’s opening of the buy and sell vintage electronics and media store “Retro 4 Bratz” on Cheam Ave has satisfied some local curiosity about what was going on behind the newspapered windows of the storefront between Super Valu and Silvanos.

Once a thrift store, the space has been renovated and its walls are now lined with record players, stereos and vinyls. Glass cases display instruments from across time, including an elaborate accordion made in the 1920s.

Owner Walter Harper and his family moved to Agassiz two months ago after living in Mission for seven years. Along with the store, Harper sells his products to flea markets in Abbotsford and Cloverdale.

“I’ve been into it for years,” he says. “My garage was getting full and my wife said, ‘better start doing something with it.’”

Harper’s love for rock music seeps through stereos in the small space. Vinyls line the walls displaying everything from Queen, Led Zepplin and Poison to Ozzy Ozbourne and The Beatles.

“Vinyl is coming back into play with the younger crowd now,” he says. “It’s a lot of rock that they’re after.”

And recent studies show that what’s old is new again and has been for some time. According to MusicWatch (via Billboard), 2014 saw the highest number of vinyl sales since 1990 and at least 72 per cent of vinyl sales are made by music fans under 35.

Retro 4 Bratz has everything necessary to “travel” through time: From tube amps, amplifiers and record players to vinyls casettes, CDs and even VHS tapes.

As for the name of the store, “Retro” represents the vintage products inside and “4 bratz” is a reference to Harper’s four children, all of whom will be helping to run their father’s passion project.