Business

Longtime businessman eyes retirement

After almost 40 years in the business, Brian Sawyer of Audio Video Unlimited is closing his store to enjoy his retirement years with his wife Lynda and their family. - Angie Mindus photo
After almost 40 years in the business, Brian Sawyer of Audio Video Unlimited is closing his store to enjoy his retirement years with his wife Lynda and their family.
— image credit: Angie Mindus photo

After 39 years in the ever-evolving business of stereos and home theatres, longtime businessman Brian Sawyer is retiring.

Sawyer first opened his business as Hi Fi Express in May, 1978, which evolved into the current Audio Video Unlimited that it is today.

“There wasn’t even theatre systems and DVD players back then,” Sawyer said when he first started out. “It’s crazy, it’s a crazy industry.”

“It has to be a passion – we’ve always sold what we love.”

Sawyer’s business was one of the first Alpine car audio dealers in Canada and has employed a staff of eight and supported local charities for many years in Williams Lake.

“We’ve always been big community supporters,” Sawyer said of donating to music, sports and theatre groups.

AVU is in its final weeks of being open after making the announcement in January that the store would close.

“The hardest part will be missing the staff and customers,” Sawyer said of retiring.

“It’s been amazing. I’ll miss the customers and the rapport we have. We still have a lot of original customers, and now we see their children and grandchildren.”

AVU has been at its 234 Borland Street location for the past 25 years and also is home to Sawyer’s other business, the Guitar Sellar,  downstairs which is for sale.

“It is for sale but in the meantime we’ll be expanding it, improving it.”

Sawyer said spending time with family, namely his wife Lynda, and checking off home chores on his to do list will be his first priorities heading into retirement.

“I’d like to spend more time with my wife and grandkids,” Sawyer said of retirement. “It’s time.”

An avid musician, Sawyer , who turns 66 in June, would also like to carve out more time to play guitar.

“I want to improve my music skills and play more music.”

Sawyer said his son Ben, who has worked along side his dad for the past twenty years, is also looking forward trying something new.

“He’s going to try some new stuff and he’s excited about that.”

Sawyer said AVU will close by the end of April.

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