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Independent music retailer plans to take over 70+ HMV Canada stores

By | Published on Monday 27 February 2017


A Toronto-based independent music retailer is planning on taking over more than two thirds of the record stores that are due to close as a result of the collapse of HMV Canada.

Sunrise Records says that it will take over more than 70 of the 102 stores that are due to close after the Canadian HMV business was put into receivership last month, ensuring that there will remain a sizeable network of music sellers in the country. Hundreds of HMV Canada employees who will soon be out of work could also get jobs in the new Sunrise stores.

It’s an ambitious move on the part of Sunrise, which currently operates just ten shops. It had also downsized its operations before being acquired by Doug Putman in 2014. Since then he has doubled the number of Sunrise stores to ten. The new announcement will see the firm make a seven-figure investment in order to increase its network to over 80 shops across Canada.

Putman is quoted by CBC as saying: “With HMV leaving, it leaves a big hole in the marketplace, so we just thought it was a good opportunity and the timing was right. So we are going to jump on it and do what we can. The reality is there is a large amount of customers that want that physical product that they can touch and hold and have”.

Sunrise Records is seriously ramping up its high street presence as CD sales continue to decline. And while the vinyl revival marches on – and Putman says vinyl will be up front in his new stores – vinyl sales overall remain relatively modest.

Putman says that by keeping his overheads down, including negotiating the best possible rents, he is confident he can make a success of the stores which lost money for HMV, which itself sought to considerably cut costs following its acquisition by Hilco.