Music Industry

Want to know why sales of vinyl in Canada continues to rocket upwards? It’s the Sunrise Records effect.

When HMV went out of business last year, a big hole was left in the Canadian music market. Without a national distribution chain for physical music, what would happen to the industry? How would everyone adjust? And what would it mean for sales and distribution?

Fortunately, Doug Putnam, the owner of the then-tiny Sunrise Records stepped into the breach, buying up the leases for soon-to-be-abandoned HMV stores from coast-to-coast. There are more than 80 outlets, all of which continue to sell CDs, DVDs and lots and lots and lots of vinyl.

Doug told me that a typical Sunrise stocks about 4,000 vinyl titles. Turns out that the stores can barely keep up.

By the end of 2017–the year that Sunrise undertook its massive expansion–the chain sold about 500,000 pieces of vinyl at an average price of $29.99. That works out to about 60% of all the vinyl sold in Canada last year. And with maybe another half-dozen stores opening this year, that number will undoubtedly be much bigger.

Another victory for Sunrise is that the chain has stabilized CD sales somewhat. They’re still down by more than 20% from this time last year, but things would be much more dire had it not been for Sunrise.

Read more about the Sunrise success story at It will do your heart some good.

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 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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