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Happy 30th birthday, Future Shop! A 'retro-riffic' look back

by Blogger ‎10-05-2012 09:59 AM - edited ‎10-05-2012 10:23 AM



Happy 30th birthday, Future Shop! This weekend commemorates 30 years of business for Canada's largest retailer and etailer of consumer electronics. There are two major ways Future Shop is celebrating its 30th:


1. Launched of "Flip it to win" contest where you could win $10,000 in today's most tech forward gadgets. Check it out and play the memory card game, reminiscent of the card games in the Super Mario Brothers 3 game.


2. Weekend sale of 30 amazing deals on 30 hot products. It's on now until Sunday night - both in-store and online. 


Future Shop began as a one-store operation in Vancouver, BC on West Broadway in 1982, and quickly grew within a few years by expanding east to become the biggest electronics retailer in Canada. Today, the company employs 10,000 Canadians coast-to-coast and has 149 store locations, as well as a 24/7 operation through Check out the timeline below, created by my talented colleague, Leslie Ma:


Future Shop: A 30-year history




Also, I got my hands on some photos of Future Shop's stores through the 1980s. Check out these retro photos and have a good chuckle or reminisce:


Inside the first Future Shop store on West Broadway in Vancouver, BC. Pretty sparse in comparison to today's stores that feature thousands of tech, eh? 

Broadway 1982.jpg



One of the first advertisements published by Future Shop. Nice to see gaming as a popular category back then

first ad complete copySM.jpg 



Stacked: The TV wall inside Future Shop

TV Wall.jpg 



Still a crowd-pleaser: Popular items from the '80s were TVs and VCRs




Gas barbecues at Future Shop? Yes, apparently grills were sold at Future Shop through the '90s as well. Today, Future Shop has an expanded category outside electronics. Check them out here




Flyers and full-page newspaper ads were popular back then as they are today. Here's a retro-riffic look at an ad from 1983. Neat seeing Future Shop named as 'Retailer of the year' in 1982 and Ms. Pac-man for $39

FutureShop1983Ad SM.jpg



Cheers to 30 years of Future Shop! 


What's your favourite memory or purchase from Future Shop?  If you feel like sharing, comment below.




by Administrator on ‎10-05-2012 10:14 AM

Oh, how far we've come!

by Blogger on ‎10-05-2012 10:16 AM

Thats a pretty good deal on that Atari 2600. 

by Retired Blogger on ‎10-05-2012 11:03 AM

If you factor in inflation the prices of early game consoles and consumer electronics were insane! The $360 Vic-20 is equivalent to around $800 today, and the Panasonic PV1265 VCR is around $1,419 in today's dollars!


Here's a handy inflation calculator so you can see the value of the other items on that flyer:

by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎10-05-2012 08:58 PM

For indepth history on Future Shop, check out this link....


Here's an old commercial I found...


Back in the 80's Future Shop were famous for their 360k floppies and the price beat guarantees.  Future Shop would be one of the first "category killers", offering choice away from department stores in Vancouver.


In the 90's I remember Future Shop expanding to Washington to capture some of the cross-border purchases.


However my memories of Future Shop early days are a little different. I thought Future Shop started as a computer store on the North Shore that predated the Broadway location.  I remember the two alien mascots too on the regular TV commercials.  Or do I have it confused with a competitor.

by Trusted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎10-06-2012 01:38 PM

Commodore?  Now that's a name I haven't heard for awhile.


C-128 was my very first computer...


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