HMV - gone, but never forgotten. So we thought, at least. Doug Putnam, the owner of Sunrise Records and Entertainment Limited - the Ontario company that just saved 100 HMV stores in the UK - says that an HMV comeback is "definitely possible" in Canada. Yes - this could mean that a beloved relic of Canada's past is making an epic return and pretty soon everyone will start walking around with walkmans and capri pants again.
But, before you get too excited, let me be more clear. Putnam's actual quote was that it is "unlikely, but definitely possible" that Sunrise would ever resurrect the brand here. But, Putnam says that Sunrise has many other exciting endeavours in the works for Canada.
Putnam transformed many of the former HMV stores into Sunrise Records locations, after finally winding down operations in 2017. Following 30 successful years in the business, HMV's sales began to decline as digital and subscription-based music streaming began to dominate. Meanwhile, there are 85 Sunrise Records stores across Canada which, according to Putnam, remain profitable.
But, part of their success can be owed to one thing that never went out of style - vinyl. According to CTV News, vinyl sales in Canada rose by 21% last year. "We know the physical media business is here to stay," says Putnam.
As of 2017, HMV was about $39 million in debt and was losing nearly $100,000 a day. By Spring 2019, it ceased operations. Only time will tell whether it ever makes a comeback in Canada someday. But, it will live on forever in our hearts.