Well-Known Store Suddenly Closes in Square One in Mississauga

What was shaping up to be a good news story for local music aficionados who love to support Canadian companies has taken a sad turn.

A store that only recently opened in Square One—shortly after taking over the space left vacant by an incredibly iconic brand—has suddenly closed its doors.

A Square One representative confirmed that Sunrise Records, which recently took over the former HMV location in the mall's lower level, closed on Jan. 21.

It will not be reopening.

The news is surprising, especially considering the fact that Sunrise reportedly enjoyed a good year—albeit one in which physical musical sales were down.

In April 2017, Sunrise announced they would be renegotiating leases left behind by a bankrupt HMV. Following the announcement, the retailer expanded from eight to 82 locations across Canada.

While the news was exciting for people itching to see a Canadian company fill the void, there was no doubt that Sunrise had its work cut for it in a world dominated by digital music.

That said, it sought to capitalize on musical nostalgia by offering a healthy vinyl selection.

"Although overall physical music sales were down in 2017, Canadians purchased almost 22 per cent more vinyl, and overall consumption was up 13 per cent over the previous year, as reported by Nielsen Canada," said Sunrise in a statement.

"There was also a noticeable increase in third and fourth quarter physical sales across both CD and vinyl formats, which could be attributed to the opening of new Sunrise locations across the country. In addition to music, Sunrise carries movies and TV series, board games, music and entertainment apparel, turntables, and collectibles."

The company says it was profitable in 2017 and is projecting at least 10 per cent sales growth for 2018. Sunrise says it will also be launching an e-commerce site and a loyalty program.

It also plans to open new locations.

"There is consistent increased demand for more places to buy physical albums, especially in markets with no other options," said Doug Putman, president and CEO, in a statement. "Sunrise is in the perfect position to provide that. We are taking measures to ensure we're bringing our customers what they're looking for and creating the best entertainment destination we can -- more than just a retail store, a true experience."

With seemingly healthy finances, the Square One closure is doubly disappointing.

It looks like vinyl lovers who prefer to grab their music at Square One will have to hit up Urban Outfitters from now on.

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