Sunrise Records Taking Over Dozens of Closed HMV Stores Across Canada

Sunrise Logo
Courtesy Photo

Sunrise Logo

It's a major, nationwide expansion for the small Toronto chain.

Canadian music retailer Sunrise Records has plans to take over the majority of former HMV locations, which went into receivership last month. The chain, which has 10 stores in Ontario, has signed leases on more than 70 of the brick and mortar stores.

HMV is closing all 102 stores as of April 30, after the company said it was losing $100,000 a day. Sunrise plans to seamlessly start opening its newly acquired locations in April.

"Sunrise has always strived to offer superior service and a wide range of products at reasonable prices to its loyal customers," Sunrise president Doug Putman said in a statement. "We are excited to bring Sunrise nationwide, and would like to thank all of the suppliers and landlords who worked so closely with us to allow us to be a destination for physical music in Canada."

Sunrise Records began in 1977 as a single store on Toronto's famed Yonge Street which brothers Malcolm and Roy Perlman bought from the Handleman Co. in 1978.

Putman whose family owns Everest Toys, a toy, game and gift manufacturer and distributor in Ancaster, Ont., purchased Sunrise Records in 2014 when the retail chain was down to just five stores. He has since doubled the number -- with locations in Timmins, Ottawa, North Bay, London, Hamilton, Etobicoke, Burlington, Brantford, Barrie and Brampton, according to the Sunrise website (the current Hamilton shop will be closing and reopening in a different location).

The 70 new retail acquisitions are spread across Canada. They include Metrotown in Burnaby, BC; Polo Park in Winnipeg, MB; Limeridge Mall in Hamilton, ON; Square One in Mississauga, ON; Promenades St-Bruno in Saint Bruno, Quebec; and a two-level, 20,000 square foot store in West Edmonton Mall which features a stage. Other locations will be announced in the coming days.

When HMV announced it was going out of business in Canada, it meant some 1,300 people would be put out of work. Putman is hoping to retain many of those employees.

"We want to let any former HMV employees know that we are opening, and we want to hear from them," he says in the release.

Sunrise plans a 50 percent increase of CDs, and a "massively expanded" apparel section, including the hottest music and entertainment related merchandise. Sunrise says it will continue to be on the cutting edge of pop culture trends adding licensed figures, plush characters as well as an extensive selection of board games to each store.

The first Canadian retailer to ever support Record Store Day, Sunrise will expand those events across Canada and plans to carry more than 2000 titles of vinyl at all locations "to meet the resurgent consumer demand for vinyl," the release states.

It will also continue to stock music by local indie acts. "We want to support independent Canadian artists more than ever," says Putman. "We feel it's an obligation, not to mention we love discovering talented new artists."

"The Record Store remains a vital place in our ecosystem for both artists and music fans," Universal president and CEO Jeffrey Remedios said in a statement. "More than this, it is a community hub where passions are shared, art is explored, and lasting journeys begin. 

He added, "Everyone has a record store story from their formative years -- including me: my first job in music was at Sunrise Yonge Street! Doug Putman's leadership and unswerving dedication to developing Canadian artists has the enthusiastic support of Universal Music Canada. Sunrise's further commitment to the national music industry is most welcome."