When HMV announced that it was kaput, Doug Putnam, the owner of the nine-location-strong Sunrise Records, stepped in to take over the leases of about 100 HMV stores. So how are things going? Quite well, thank you.
Not all the old HMVs have been converted to Sunrise locations yet, but at least half of them are operational. Putnam wants to have 85 stores humming by December. FYI Music News checked in to see how business was:
“The numbers we are doing are off the chart, they are insane right now,” he shared in a phone interview yesterday.
“A lot of people just don’t realize the scope of demand still for CDs and vinyl.”
The customer base at Sunrise today is a diverse mix, but Putman says the big surprise is he sees a lot of millennials buying CDs and vinyl in his stores.
“The thinking was ‘Oh, Millennials don’t buy, they shop online, they don’t want physical’ but that’s not what we are seeing.
“And then there’s the regular CD buyer we’ve had forever. Our (inventory) content is skewed slightly more to male customers, but not by much. I’d say we skew 60/40 male to female.”
The typical Sunrise chain store today carries 10,000 titles with as high as 70 percent being catalogue (defined as any release 18 months and over) and deep catalogue (three years and over).
Add to this, about 5,000 vinyl titles are carried in the chain’s stores.
Sunrise also carries paraphernalia or, in the vernacular, cultural merchandise, which currently represents about 30 percent of the overall business.
“What we’ve done is focus on the core business, which is music,” Putman says. “We are making sure that the audio customer still has somewhere to go and what we are finding is the depth of catalogue we are stocking is paying off for us.
“We’ve been selling hundreds of copies of catalogue items in the first eight weeks of being open that HMV was missing the boat on. And there are thousands of titles like that. The extra depth of catalogue is doing exceptionally well for us.”
This is all fantastic news. Read the whole interview here.