Music Industry

Despite long odds, a Canadian businessman has turned bankrupt HMV UK profitable

When HMV collapsed under a mountain of debt, everyone rightly believed that it was the end of a record store chain that had been around for almost a hundred years. Canadian businessman Doug Putnam didn’t see that way.

The Ancaster, Ontario-based businessman, believe that the record store chain concept wasn’t dead. It just needed a new approach.

Putnam began by buying up leases of more than 70 HMV stores across Canada and turning them into Sunrise Records. They’re doing well. But Putman didn’t want to stop there.

When HMV UK went bust, he swooped in. Some stores were closed but others were opened. The mix of inventory changed. There was a renewed emphasis on vinyl to capitalize on the renewed interest in the product. And it worked.

HMV UK is back from the dead and is turning a profit. According to a story in The Telegraph, revenue jumped 60% (£90M to £150M) and turned a profit of around two million quid (CAD$3.3 million). That’s the best the chain has done since it was rescued in 2019–and that’s despite little things like a global pandemic.

A nice feel-good story, innit?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38156 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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