Don van Nood prepares to retire from Halco Electronics in the village of Haliburton after almost 25 years of ownership and management. The store will close permanently at the end of the month. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

Halco Electronics to close shop this month

By Vivian Collings

Halco Electronics, a staple storefront of Haliburton’s downtown for the past few decades, is getting ready to power down and close up.

Owner Don van Nood said it’s time for retirement after nearly 25 years of managing his home away from home on Highland Street.

“This store really allowed us to give back to the community. We met so many great people through this business,” van Nood said.

The closure comes at the same time as the purchase of The Source by Best Buy and Bell Canada.

Half of the country’s 300 The Source stores will close, and about 165 are being rebranded as Best Buy Outlets, a change van Nood said wouldn’t have been beneficial for them.

As an electronics technician by trade, van Nood was always interested in the Radio Shack world.

“My late wife brought the opportunity to become a partner at Haliburton’s Radio Shack to my attention,” he said.

Van Nood was the chief building official for Dysart at the time.

He went in as a partner with Greg Bishop in 1999 before eventually taking over the business.

Prior to moving back to the county, he used his skills to fix hematology and chemistry analysers for hospitals and medical labs in Cambridge.

“I came up to Haliburton and was going to retire, but ended up working part time for Radio Shack, then I got a full time position with the township and did part time work at Radio Shack,” he laughed. “And then of course, I ended up full-time at Radio Shack and have been here ever since.”

He reminisced as his classic rock playlist echoed through speakers in the store and pulled out an old Radio Shack catologue from the 80s.

“When we first started, there were hardly any cell phones. The ones that existed were either the great big ones that went under the seat of your car or a huge hand set. We sold cassette decks, CD players, amplifiers and stereos, picture tube TVs,” he said.

Times have changed.

He said when he started, a 26” TV was $1,000.

“What can you buy for $1,000 now? An 85 inch.”

Now, the big sellers are cell phones and internet products.

“It’s what’s driving Bell to buy The Source in the first place,” van Nood said. “The way business is done is so different. All of the ordering is done online.”

Van Nood said he will be staying in the community and looks forward to spending more time with his two grandchildren. 

The official last day for the store is March 30 with a move out date of March 31.