Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[URBAN NOTE] Finis Sam the Record Man

The Yonge Street flagship store of Sam the Record Man, a Canadian music retail chain that once operated 130 outlets across Canada--including one in Charlottetown--will be closing today, at 7 pm, five years after it was re-opened in a last ditch attempt to keep the landmark active. (Creative destruction might work, but it also and obviously leaves casualties.)

[A]s of the end of June, Sam the Record Man is finally closing its doors – a victim of the vagaries of the retail record business and declining CD sales thanks to the Internet. According to Canadian record industry statistics, sales of CDs have dropped 35 per cent in the first quarter of 2007 alone.

"We are making a responsible decision in recognizing the status of the record industry and the increasing impact of technology," said Bobby Sniderman in a news release issued yesterday.

Sniderman is one of the present owners of the store and one of the sons of Sam Sniderman, the man who built the record store dynasty that rivalled many around the world.

"But there is a wonderful story to be told here, not about the current state of the industry, but about a family business that operated for 70 years in record retailing. Throughout that time our family has made significant contributions to the music industry, for Canadian artists and to the community as a whole ...

"This is about more than just bricks and mortar; Sam the Record Man is the most recognizable name in the Canadian music industry, an iconic legacy that will forever endure ..."

[. . .]

[T]he company ran into trouble in 2001, filing for bankruptcy in October and closing its doors in late December. Competition from music superstores such as HMV and discount retailers like Wal-Mart, coupled with Internet downloads, all spelled trouble for the Toronto record retailer. A&A Records two doors away also closed in the 1990s.

I'm planning on one last quick spin through the CD racks after work tonight, for nostalgia's sake. Have any other readers here in Toronto done the same, or are they going to?
Tags: nostalgia, popular music, shopping, toronto, urban note
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