January 28, 2017 6:06 pm
Updated: January 28, 2017 8:09 pm

Toronto reacts to HMV announcing it’s closing its doors

WATCH ABOVE: Sat, Jan 28: One of Canada's largest big box music stores, HMV, is closing its doors April, and some Canadian music consumers are disappointed. Erica Vella reports.


One of Canada’s largest big box music stores, HMV, is closing its doors in April, and some Canadian music consumers are disappointed.

Suzette Marsh said she has been going to the flagship store in Toronto for over 10 years.

“Literally, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it,” Marsh said.

“It’s just like Sam The Record Man. It’s another Canadian icon closing and that’s depressing.”

An Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved an application to place HMV Canada Inc. into receivership Friday.

HUK 10 Ltd., which lent money to the struggling chain, filed the application to the court Thursday.

It claimed HMV owes it nearly $39 million and has received no cash payments since November 2014.

READ MORE: Cassettes make unexpected comeback in the age of digital downloads

Marketing expert Tony Chapman said in it’s heyday, the big box music store owned the music market.

“They were an iconic British brand and they had this iconic catalog with the most obscure albums,” Chapman said.

“They matched it up with talent that loved music.”

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As the digital world began to advance and music streaming and downloading became more popular, Chapman said HMV lost their competitive edge.

“When you lose your competitive advantage as a brand you have to reinvent yourself,” he said.

“But no matter where they moved on the chess board, they never had the competitive advantage that they used to have.”

READ MORE: Honest Ed’s, Toronto’s iconic discount store, closes its doors after 68 years

Music journalist Alan Cross said HMV’s closing will have a big impact on Canadian music.

“They sell Canadian stuff to Canadians and this is material that is not necessarily popular outside the country,” Cross said.

“So we have taken away that distribution chain from Canadian artists who are only popular in this country and that’s a big deal.”

HMV would require between $2 million and $5 million annually in cash to stay open, according to court filings, and the company was losing $100,000 a day as customers turned towards online media in recent years.

Senior Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz approved the application and appointed Gordon Brothers Canada ULC and Merchant Retail Solutions ULC as the agent to sell HMV’s remaining merchandise.

Legal documents state that closing stores must cease operations by April 30.

With files from The Canadian Press

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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