Red Cat Voted Best Record Store In 2016 Westender Poll!

Filed Under The Store | March 12, 2016

FEBRUARY 24, 2016

Red Cat best bet for vinyl

Robert Mangelsdorf — Westender
Red Cat Records co-owners Dave Gowans and Lasse Lutick. — Dan Toulgoet photo

Best Record Store:

Red Cat Records

4332 Main


It’s no secret that these are tough times for the music industry. CD sales have plummeted in favour of online streaming and torrenting, and music retail chains have been dropping like flies as a result.

However, amidst this, Red Cat Records on Main Street has not only survived – it’s thrived, largely due to owners Dave Gowans and Lasse Lutick’s decision to shift their focus to vinyl sales.

“When we started, it was 80/20 between CDs and vinyl,” says Lutick. “Now its 70 per cent vinyl.”

Lutick and Gowans first met each other more than 20 years ago in a tree-planting camp in Northern BC, and went on to form the indie country-rock band, the Buttless Chaps. The pair were long-time employees at Red Cat when they had the opportunity to buy the store nearly 10 years ago from the original owners.

“It was definitely a dream of ours to have our own store someday,” says Lutick. “I think a lot of musicians have that dream.”

For music fans that want something tangible, something substantial they can hold in their hands and display in their homes, vinyl is an ideal medium. However, the shift to vinyl has not been without its challenges. For one thing, records are a whole lot bigger than CDs, resulting in Red Cat having to upgrade their digs two times on the same block.

But as Red Cat has grown, the store’s welcoming atmosphere has remained.

“It’s a friendly store,” says Gowans. “It’s really comfortable and you’re not going to be judged by the records you buy. It’s not that kind of record store.”


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