Gutsy gamble as Sunrise Records takes 70 HMV locations

Sunrise Records of Toronto has agreed to take over 70 stores now leased by HMV in shopping malls all across Canada. Sunrise, a music and video throwback of sorts, sells recorded music including vinyl plus entertainment video. It’s motto is “Rockin Canada since 1977”.  The CBC quotes Sunrise president Doug Putnam 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.” Putman says Sunrise is making a seven-figure investment, and he hopes to turn a profit by next year. He says that with lower head office costs, renegotiated leases and more depth in the record catalogue, Sunrise can succeed where HMV and so many others have failed. Sunrise now has nine stores in southern Ontario. It’s gutsy and deserving of support


Putman told CTV he isn’t convinced digital music signals the end of physical media. “A lot of the younger consumers still love having something tangible,” he said. Putman saidhe has has long believed in buying merchandise you can hold in your hands. He grew up working at the family business, Everest Toys, a manufacturer and distributor based in Ancaster, Ont. He bought the Sunrise chain from Malcolm Perlman in October 2014 just as streaming was going mainstream. Perlman had spent the previous few years shutting down most of the Sunrise stores in the Toronto area, often blaming higher rent. When Putman gained control of the company, there were five Sunrise Records stores left. He’s since doubled the number by opening in Ontario cities like Ottawa and North Bay. He said all of those stores are profitable. HMV in bankruptcy, remaining stores to close April 30