Music Industry

HMV is back in the Toronto area–but it’s not quite what you think

HMV disappeared from the Canadian landscape back in 2017, taking dozens of record store locations down with it. Enter Doug Putnam, the Hamilton-area entrepreneur who snapped up old HMV leases and expanded Sunrise Records across the country, taking physical music sales in a new direction.

Meanwhile, he kept the HMV running in the UK and Ireland. Everything was given a new coat of pain and HMV is thriving to the point where the chain is back on Oxford Street in London with a new superstore.

Doug still owns the HMV name for Canada. And now HMV is back in the Toronto area (Pickering, Brantford, Mississauga, and Burlington)–but in a form that may surprise you.

If you go to certain Toys “R” Us locations, you’ll find sections dedicated to vinyl, CDs, and music merch. The shelves are branded “HMV.” This isn’t as weird as it might seem on the surface. Putnam originally made his money with a Canadian-based toy company. He knows everyone at Toys “R” Us.

Let’s see how this works. If it does, the effort will expand.

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 38123 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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