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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Montreal Chinatown: Kpop Stores

While searching for any sign of kpop in Motreal online, all I found was that I'd have much better luck in Toronto (which has two Koreatowns!). Yet while sauntering through the streets of Montreal's Chinatown, I stumbled on two kpop stores! In order to explain my experience with both of these stores, I'll tell my day's story.
The first store I saw was at the corner of Clark Street and Rue de la Gauchetière. The official posters of Boyfriend and Teen Top caught my eye, then I spotted the (fake) Korean dramas underneath them. (I took this photo before they opened, when there were no dramas on display). Inside the 12 by 12 foot space held many fake Asian dramas, CDs and concert DVDs, as well as a pile of fake kpop posters. I asked the shopkeeper about the official posters outside, and he said he'd call up his friend who has another store just around the corner with mostly kpop goods to open his store for me. It's already after 11AM and it still wasn't opened...so just beware that the store hours are whenever the store owner feels like operating it.
The second store, called Studio A, is directly across the street and a few doors down from C&C Korean Cosmetics Chinatown location. The address is approximately on Clark Street, directly across from the back entrance of Swatow Plaza. The front is covered in official, recent kpop posters, including Super Junior, Nu'est, Exo-K, and more. But what drew me to this storefront was the beautiful Infinite Infinitize poster in dead center! That was the only poster I had my eyes set on. Once the shop owner came to open up, inside there was a small box of official kpop posters, and then long rows of Asian dramas and kpop CDs and concert DVDs. The kpop CDs were definitely legit, factory sealed with holographic stickers of authentication. Some were priced at $15, but majority of the popular CDs were priced at $30. I had wanted to buy Infinite's Evolution album, but priced at $30 is ridiculous when Amazon offers it for $11.99. In the back are lots of fake kpop merchandise, including more of those fake posters from the first store, mini desk calendars, stickers, key rings with photos, rubber wristbands and messenger bags (which may be real?), and even pillows.
I took a quick photo of the pillows and bags but the shop owner then told me that photos aren't allowed he was probably afraid that I would report him for all of his fake goods. I came to this store so happy about seeing that Infinite poster, but left disappointed at the illegitimacy of majority of this merchandise. Then again, I came to Montreal expecting no life of kpop, so these stores were bittersweet, for lack of a better analogy.

Moral of the story: official posters are on the storefront to make their businesses look legit, but inside they sell mostly fake goods. I used to buy fake goods because that's all I had access to, but now that I have my legit CNBlue and Infinite merchandise, I only want real goods released from their entertainment companies!

31 comments:

  1. Thank you for this info, very helpful :D

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  2. Actually, the owner of the two shops is the same person and the first store only sells things for the older Chinese generation while the other one sells more of the kpop stuff. The actual second kpop store in Montreal is A Plus on Clark Street.
    And, of course the merchandise cost a lot more because there is absolutely no competition and you also have to keep in mind the shipping price they had to pay to bring in there and they have to make profit.

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    1. I didn't know that; thanks for the info^^

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    2. Does the A Plus store give you the poster if the album comes with one? Or do you have to buy it if you want that as well? Or does they gives you any freebies at all if you buy stuffs?

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    3. Hi! I'm sorry I don't know. But I do remember that they had a separate area for albums and another area for posters, so it seemed like you'd buy them separately.

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    4. ok, thanks for the info

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    5. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!

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  3. hey do you remember the price ranges for the kpop merchandises?

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    1. Sorry for the late reply! Honestly I don't remember, I'm sorry...the only thing I recall is that the official CDs were much pricier than ordering online...

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    1. Hi! I'm not sure if they sell hats, but it would seem likely! Sorry for the uncertainty -.-

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Can u give me the address of the two stores pls and thx u

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    1. Sorry, I stupidly never got the addresses for these stores :( Ugh now I'm really beating myself up for it. I just walked around Chinatown and stumbled on these two stores...sorry...

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  8. hi! Today I walked around chinatown and the usual loud kpop music couldn't be heard. I went closely to take a look if the store was open or not but the store doesn't exist anymore! D: All the posters are gone replaced by huge newspapers and something written in chinese.
    Can someone confirm me if the store has moved elsewhere?

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    1. Oh no, I'm sorry about that! I don't know what happened, but I'm not surprised if the store closed because I don't know how they can stay in business...

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  9. I know i might seem dumb, but how do you tell if the merchandise selled are legit or fake? plz respond, thank you!!!

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    1. Hi^^ Don't worry, that's not a dumb question at all! For legit kpop albums and DVDs, they usually have the metallic holographic sticker on the backside. An album or DVD looks fake if the cover is like just a printed piece of copy paper slipped into a blank album/DVD case. If you have more questions or if I wasn't clear, let me know^^

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  10. Hi just in case your wondering. The second store is close and the first one doesn't have new album. But there is a store called A+ in China Town who has all the new albums and much more Kopp stuff

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    1. Hi, thanks so much for the update!! I'm sorry this post has been out of date, so your info is really helpful^^

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  11. Both of the Kpop store are close actually, i went today and it forsale sadly😷 i dont know any other kpop store if you know one in montreal or near tell me thank you😊

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    1. That is really too bad, thanks for letting me know! I sadly don't know of any other kpop stores around Montreal :(

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    2. I was there the day before it closed.I didn't buy anything but I regretted it on the way home xc

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    3. Aww that's really too bad!!!! I'm glad you did get the chance to go before they closed though!

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    4. guys use kpoptown.com MUCH cheaper a+ hiked the prices up quite high. you can get a prepaid visa card and use it

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    5. Honestly I completely agree with Jessica. If you can order online (I recommend kpoptown.com or ktown4u.com), it would be a lot cheaper and your album purchase will be counted on the Korean music charts~

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  12. what kind of item to you have do you have BTS item like concert dvd or anything from bts that you have in store

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    1. Hi~ I'm sorry I don't know the inventory of these stores, it is best if you could call them and ask.

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