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In a move that is sure to surprise and delight a few music lovers nationwide, independent music retailer Sunrise Records has announced it will take over the majority of HMV locations across the country after the former giant closes all 102 of its Canadian stores by April 30. Out of those 102, 70 locations will be replaced with Sunrise Record stores, which up until this point has operated a modest 9 locations in Ontario.
Sunrise has a proven track record of supporting not only the vinyl industry—it was the first Canadian retailer to support the Record Store Day initiative—but also local, independent artists. Doug Putman, President of Sunrise Records, says that despite the massive expansion they will adhere to these values that made them a favourite destination for music fans: "We want to support independent Canadian artists more than ever. We feel it’s an obligation, not to mention we love discovering talented new artists."
Sunrise has plans to broaden the assortment of music that HMV carried, with a 50% increase in CDs as well as expanded apparel, board games and other offerings. They have also committed to hiring HMV employees who may face losing a job as of April 30: “We want to let any former HMV employees know that we are opening," says Putman, "and we want to hear from them." The acquisition includes Metrotown in Burnaby; Polo Park in Winnipeg; Square One in Mississauga; and a massive 20,000 square foot store in West Edmonton Mall which features a stage for performances. If you are interested in applying for a position, you can send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunrise Records started as a single store located on 237 Yonge Street in Toronto when brothers Malcolm and Roy Perlman bought the store in 1978. Unfortunately for any nostalgic Torontonians, Sunrise wasn't able to negotiate a deal for the HMV flagship at Yonge and Dundas, meaning that Yonge Street will be void of any music stores after once being home to a plethora, including Play De Record—since moved to a new location on Spadina—and the infamous Sam the Record Man.