High Street chain HMV has been rescued, but only partially as the Canadian firm Sunrise Records steps in to buy 100 of the music shop’s stores.
The purchase will secure 1,487 jobs but will still see 27 of the group’s stores close resulting in 455 redundancies.
Sunrise Records emerged as the buyer yesterday afternoon, beating competition that included the Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
The Canadian outfit is owned by the entrepreneur and self-confessed music and vinyl fan Doug Putman who has said he is “delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK.”
No price has been given for the purchase but the administrators KPMG revealed that the company’s flagship Oxford Street store in London, its first shop when it opened in 1921, is among the 27 outlets to close.
In 2017, Putman bought HMV’s Canadian business, expanding his small Sunrise Chain into a national operation with 80 outlets.
Putman is also the president of Everest Toys, the largest toys and games distribution company in North America. He has championed HMV as a ‘fantastic heritage brand.’ He also said that the chain would be looking to stock more vinyl records in response to customer demand.
“I feel really lucky to be able to say we continue to call it HMV,” Putman said. “It is very clear that the customer wants more selection on vinyl, more depth of catalogue. There is no doubt that online is a big part of overall retail sales. But people like to come into a store, have an experience, talk with someone who understands music, loves music, loves video and entertainment.
“If you think online is the only future I don’t think that is the case. There is so much you get from coming into a store that you can’t get online.”
With a focus on stocking rarer vinyl titles, it is yet unclear the position HMV will now take on the diversification into consumer products such as t-shirts and collectable it saw in recent years.
However, with a hand in the toy industry himself, Putman’s influence on the brand could spell out more shelf space for toys upon the high street.