Red Deer Downtown Business Association
Downtown Business Spotlight: Sacks Thrift Ave
This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Sacks Thrift Ave! This charity thrift store is located at #101 4805 48 Street. We spoke with Vincent to learn more about sustainable fashion and the Vinyl Record renaissance!
What is your business?
We’re a vintage store that specializes in vinyl predominantly, but also clothing. But, it’s probably best to start with the history of how this all started! I’m actually part of the ownership group of the building [Mid City Plaza]. Like a lot of Downtown buildings, we had a lot of vacancy. My past is in real estate, so I actually put together the group to invest in this building—but it hadn’t been going well. When we lost Sagit Aries Costumes when she retired, the place was vacant for a while, and I decided to open a charitable thrift store here—because we do have Charities in the building—to support them and create a tenant for ourselves! We started off as a thrift store, with some mixed results. But, from the old Sound House that used to be located Downtown we got a whole bunch of left-over records, so we had this vinyl wall and we kind of found that was a big chunk of our sales. When we closed down for four months at the start of the pandemic, I went and sourced a whole bunch of records. And immediately, when we reopened, sales jumped up! People started coming in for curated records. That became a big push for the business and now that’s our biggest seller here. We have the best, largest selection of Vinyl in Central Alberta. As we continued to succeed, we now support Central Alberta Brain Injury society as well as Canadian Mental Health, but we’re hoping we can support more charities as we grow.
When did your business open?
It will be two years in October.
What makes your business unique?
Well, another thing I should bring up is, hopefully, in the next few weeks we will be opening our rage room! I think we have that all ironed out and should be opening that up shortly. When we were a thrift store, we got all this stuff donated that we never sold. You go ask any thrift store—they’ve got tons of stuff that they’ll never sell. It’s a pity that exists, but we’re finding a purpose for it!
What are some products/services that you offer?
We still have some of the typical thrift up front, but in January we made the switch to a curated thrift and vintage. It’s a big draw, especially to our younger clientele. They just recognize that this is more environmentally friendly. The clothing industry is the #2 polluter in the world and clothes are made so cheaply now that they just fall apart—versus the old stuff that is forty years old that stands the test of time. Young people just love this stuff because they know it’s going to last.
So, there’s band merch, patches, we do bring in some new band merch as well. And the records. There’s so much investment in nostalgic things going on, like Pokémon cards. People want to invest in things they love, and you can’t get that with MP3’s and on-demand music apps. People aren’t actively listening, whereas, with a record you are purposefully listening and experiencing an album. I’ve been doing my research and there is so much that gets lost from the music when it’s on an MP3 or an app. Specifically, when they take a song and make it into an MP3 they are removing some of background music in order to make the file smaller. Studies have shown that when listening to records there is a bigger dopamine release than when listening to MP3’s. That’s why people keep coming back to records; to hear the music how it was meant to be—it’s such a massive dopamine hit!
Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?
Well, I already owned in Downtown, but the truth is what we need is more people living Downtown, more business Downtown—it has to be a destination. The city, of course, has to encourage it to be a destination and then we all prosper. So basically, someone’s got to do it!
What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?
I’m finally seeing progress! The mural campaign [Meet the Street] was great, we hoped to be a part of that, maybe next year. But seeing the Ross Street Patio, seeing the scooters, it just kind of encourages things. I’m not sure what exactly makes it vibrant right now—but it’s starting. We couldn’t have the festivals this year, there’s so much we couldn’t do and yet this is the first time in a long time I feel like we’re turning a corner. There’s so much more that can be done. It’s just tough under these circumstances to say what makes it vibrant, any one specific thing. There’s some really good things, and there appears to be good things coming.
I love Downtown Red Deer because…
Well, I love it because it is turning the corner, at long last. Ross Street Patio, Little Gaetz—we’ve got these streets that are becoming that charming little thing that every Downtown needs, and now it’s about expanding on it and making more spaces in the Downtown worth checking out and then having the programs, like live music, in other corners of the Downtown. That will come with time, and we hope to do some of that here once this is all done!
Check out Sacks Thrift Ave for band merch and great records! Follow them for updates:
Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or [email protected].
Red Deer DBA announces Entertainment District events
With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the Downtown Business Association (DBA) is thrilled to share some exciting updates and plans for the future! After careful consideration and a deep understanding of our community’s needs, we are here to announce our latest developments.
Firstly, while we understand the disappointment caused by the cancellation of the upcoming season of the Downtown Saturday Market, we want to assure you that this decision was made with the utmost care and consideration. Our valued vendors and attendees have shown incredible support and enthusiasm for this new venture, and for that, we are truly grateful.
Though we faced time constraints and logistical challenges that hindered our ability to organize the event effectively, we have not lost sight of our mission to bring joy and entertainment to the community. Our plans for the Wednesday Market remain unchanged and we are are thrilled to inform you that the music programming meant for Saturday market entertainment will continue to thrive!
Every Saturday from 2-4pm, the public patio will come alive with soul-stirring performances from amazing artists from all over Central Alberta and beyond. Best of all, this event is free and open to the public, inviting everyone to share in the magic of live music. This will be in addition to the regularly scheduled Tuesday – Friday Programming, with an extra special open mic night every Thursday evening. Friday’s will take it up a notch with business-led events that will make your evenings truly unforgettable.
We have an incredible lineup of events and activities planned for this summer to enhance your enjoyment of the Ross Street Patio, day and night. To stay up-to-date with all the showtimes and artist line-ups, we encourage you to follow us on our social media channels.
In addition, our Host-It! Program offers community partners the opportunity to use the stage every Saturday throughout the summer. Imagine the possibilities—music, theatre, art galleries, and so much more. We are committed to providing a platform for diverse activities that will invigorate the heart of our downtown. And let’s not forget the festivals! The Downtown Business Association is proud to support several upcoming festivals on Ross Street and nearby this summer. These celebrations will infuse the area with a joyful and festive atmosphere, attracting thousands of visitors to revel in the excitement. After immersing yourself in these vibrant events, the Ross Street Patio will be the perfect spot to unwind and savor a refreshing beverage.
Our little Entertainment District has flourished, and we couldn’t be prouder. The first full summer season with this new bylaw in place promises to be an absolute triumph, as we are still the only Entertainment District in Alberta.
Looking ahead, the DBA remains dedicated to fostering a vibrant and thriving downtown. We are already hard at work planning an afternoon market for next year based on valuable community feedback. This revised schedule will provide vendors with greater flexibility and the opportunity to participate in other morning markets. We are committed to announcing and implementing these efforts earlier, ensuring that vendors have ample time to plan their seasons accordingly.
Together, as a united community, we will continue to create successful opportunities for all. Let’s embrace the vibrant future that awaits us and build a downtown that will inspire and uplift us all.
Downtown Business Association announces Saturday market for Red Deer on Little Gaetz
Red Deer Downtown Business Association launches Downtown Saturday Market
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