A grave next to A&B Sound, Sam the Record Man, and other record chains is now being dug for HMV Canada. The courts have approved an application to place Canada’s biggest record store chain, HMV Canada Inc., into receivership. The application was filed by HUK 10 Ltd. which lent money to the struggling chain and now says HMV owes it almost $39 million with no payments received since November 2014.
In order to stay afloat, HMV would need 2 to 5 million dollars annually. As it stands now, the company is losing $100,000 per day, as customers have turned away from compact discs to digital purchases in a retail climate where convenience trumps sound quality. Moreover, streaming services have managed to trick many into believing that access is favourable to ownership. Trips to the record shops have also possibly been hurt from online mail-delivery ordering services like Amazon.
Legal documents state that HMV shops must cease operations by April 30. There are currently 102 stores across Canada which employ about 1,340 people. All are now to be closed. Most of the company’s head office staff have already been laid off, and HMV owes its major suppliers, including music labels, a reported $56 million.
For many music fans and movie enthusiasts, the closure will mean the disappearance of all shops of its kind in their cities, leaving them without a single retail outlet with a good selection of CDs and DVDs. With less and less CDs being readily available, the closure of the chain will undoubtedly deal a severe blow to overall record sales. Some may feel that HMV’s demise will benefit independent shops, but these are disappearing as well.
This is a very, very sad day.