HMV sings its last song

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All 102 stores in Canada closing

By Caroline Ho, Arts Editor


The proliferation of streaming services and digital media purchases has claimed its latest long-stalked victim; HMV Canada is set to close all of its 102 stores across the nation by April 30.

On Friday, January 27, reports came in from the Canadian Press that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had approved the Canadian retail chain’s application to be placed into receivership, a legal process that means the company is unable to meet its financial obligations and must shut down its stores permanently. HMV Canada has been struggling with sales for years and is millions of dollars in debt. HMV has been in Canada since 1986, although the Canadian chain has been operating separately from its parent company in the UK since 2011.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, since digital media has cut into a huge chunk of HMV’s sales, and more and more consumers opt to purchase online or stream instead of buying physical copies of movies or music. Along with CDs and DVDs, HMV also sells plenty of other merchandise, including posters, t-shirts and apparel, and collectibles, but it hasn’t been enough to keep the company afloat.

There are only six HMV locations left in the Greater Vancouver Area: Robson Street, Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, Coquitlam Centre, Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, Willowbrook Centre in Langley, and Tsawwassen Mills, which only opened this past October. Perhaps it should have been taken as an omen that the end was forthcoming when HMV’s massive location on Burrard Street in Downtown Vancouver was closed in 2012 and moved to the far smaller Robson location.

As momentous and mournful as it is to see yet another mark of the changing times, hopefully there will at least be closing sales as the company sheds the remainder of its merchandise by the end of April.