Williams Electronics owner Robin Williams, left, stands with manager Jeremy Findlay in front of the store's new location. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife store Williams Electronics, formerly Roy’s Audio Video, is moving into the former Northern Images location and plans a soft launch in the first week of October.
Owner Robin Williams, who purchased the electronics store from his father earlier this year, said Northern Images’ building – on the corner of 48 Street and Franklin Avenue – became available as he was rebranding his store in July.
“I decided to do everything we could to get our own space and our own building,” he said. Roy’s Audio Video had operated from the basement of the YK Centre mall for decades, at times being known as a Radio Shack or Audiotronic.
Late last week, Williams and staff began moving to their new street-level space.
“We were enjoying our coffees and watching the sun pour through the windows onto these beautiful wood floors,” he told Cabin Radio. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m home. I’m finally home.'”
The new space is smaller than the rental space in YK Centre, Williams said, but he argues that with technology shrinking and consumers increasingly shopping online, the business no longer needs the same space for items like giant televisions.
Instead, he will focus on serving commercial clients and stocking “all the best stuff that people will want to go out and get.”
Yet the store is expanding in some ways. There is now a vinyl section and Williams plans to add photo printing services.
He also teased more changes coming in early 2022.
Mark and Paul Henry, partners in Williams’ purchase who own the city’s Copperhouse restaurant, have plans with Williams to turn the space into the “go-to retail location for downtown” in January.
“I think it’s going to be a great addition to the downtown,” Williams said.
“What we were noticing over the last couple days is just how much more connected we feel to downtown. The street is right there – everybody is getting to work, and back from work, and doing their daily stuff.
“We’ll be well-positioned to be right in front of that consumer.”