Canada's Sunrise Records Saves UK Chain HMV

Canada’s Sunrise Records is buying British music retailer HMV, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

Sunrise will take over all but 27 HMV stores in the UK, leaving 100 locations that will continue to be run under the HMV name.

Among the stores that have been closed is the flagship location on London's Oxford Street, where HMV opened in 1921.

“We are delighted to acquire the most iconic music and entertainment business in the UK," Sunrise CEO Doug Putman said, in a statement.

“We know the physical media business is here to stay, and we greatly appreciate all the support from the suppliers, landlords, employees and most importantly, our customers.”

HMV (which stands for His Master’s Voice) was once the world’s biggest music retailer.

HMV came to Canada in 1986 and expanded to more than 100 locations in nine provinces. In 2011, the Canadian operations were sold to restructuring firm Hilco UK, which pulled the plug on the chain in 2017.

Ontario-based Sunrise Records took over 70 of HMV’s mall locations across Canada. With 84 stores, Sunrise is the last big music retailer in the country. 

Canadian consumers have seen several chains come and go.

A&A Records filed for bankruptcy in 1993 after nearly five decades in business; Sam the Record Man was shuttered in 2001 after more than 60 years; and Music World filed for bankruptcy in 2007 after more than 35 years. A lone Virgin Megastore in downtown Vancouver was taken over by HMV in 2005 and U.S. retailer Tower Records’ two stores in Toronto closed in 2001 after six years.