Sunrise Records to move into 70 stores closed by HMV

Sunrise Records now has nine stores in Ontario and hopes their expansion will help broaden the profile of indie music and preserve the tradition of tangible music sales. 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.

Sunrise Records have negotiated contracts with mall landlords to take over the leases on 70 HMV locations across Canada. "Sunrise has always strived to offer superior service and a wide range of products at reasonable prices to its loyal customers", Sunrise Records president Doug Putman said in a press release.

According to Nielsen Music Canada, CD sales fell 19 percent to 12.3 million units a year ago.

Putman said Sunrise has "been able to find a way", working with landlords and suppliers, to "mitigate that", intending to make all stores profitable in 2018.

In a news release issued by Sunrise today, the company said it is interested in hearing from current and former HMV employees looking for work. The company also plans to bring in apparel, music merchandise, pop culture figures, licensed figures, plush characters and an assortment of board games. Data collector Nielsen Music Canada says compact disc sales fell 19 per cent to 12.3 million units a year ago. In addition, the company will continue to support local independent artists by carrying their music for sale.

So far, agreements have been reached for locations in Edmonton, Burnaby, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Mississauga and Saint Bruno, QC. That includes street-level spaces like HMV's flagship at Yonge and Dundas streets in Toronto. A more extensive list of new locations is expected to be announced once lease negotiations have been finalized. The company said their other new locations will be announced in the coming days and stores will start opening in early April 2017.

  • Leroy Wright