A Canadian Is Relaunching HMV's Online Business

The music chain's webstore is being revived by Sunrise Records' Doug Putman
A Canadian Is Relaunching HMV's Online Business
Having bailed out HMV in the U.K. this past February, Sunrise Records Canada owner Doug Putman has now set his sights on relaunching the retailer's online store.

The chain will relaunch its online retail store on November 1, while its subsidiary, Fopp, will be relaunched online separately in early 2020, BNN Bloomberg.

"It's a great brand, and the customers are very passionate about it," Putman told the site of the HMV. "We are putting a lot more focus on vinyl, which is driving traffic."

Today also marks the opening of the HMV Vault, a 25,000 square-foot flagship store in Birmingham that has an indoor performance space. Standing as Europe's biggest entertainment store, the Vault will stock 80,000 CDs and 25,000 vinyl records, in addition to film, books, T-shirts, mugs and more.

Besides that store, Putman said HMV will open several new stores in 2020, particularly in London.

The experience of a physical space is something Putman feels consumers will value compared to other online retailers.

"We hire people in communities and work with charities and we pay our tax. We do care. Amazon gives huge convenience but every time you get something amazing you are sacrificing something for that," he told The Guardian. "The world's a scary place if there is just Amazon and ultimately we are all starting to realize that."

Putman is confident the U.K. chain can turn a profit in his first year at the helm, telling The Guardian, "The market will contract but I don't think HMV will. We will always beat the market."

He added, "I'm really surprised how supportive customers and the public have been and how much people care and want us to succeed. This is just the beginning; people will see more change coming in the next three to six months."

HMV announced that its U.K. faction was going into administration again back in late December, while all of HMV's Canadian locations closed in 2017. Later that year, Sunrise Records announced that it would be opening 70 new stores in former HMV locations across Canada.