Saskatoon

HMV closures mark end of an era for Sask. music lovers

Stores in Saskatoon and Regina will be among those that close this year after the company went into receivership on Jan. 27.

'Before any social media ... this is where I would go to discover bands,' says SaskMusic program manager

HMV Canada, which separated from its British parent company in 2011, is now in receivership. Four Saskatchewan stores are among those set to close by April 30. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

For Saskatchewan residents who remember flipping through rows of CDs to find new music, or rushing home from the mall to hear the latest hit album, the closure of HMV stores marks the end of an era.

Stores in Saskatoon and Regina will be among those that close this year after the company went into receivership on Jan. 27.

All 102 HMV stores are set to close by April 30. 

The troubled franchise has stores at Midtown Plaza and Lawson Heights Mall in Saskatoon, and at the Cornwall Centre and Southland Mall in Regina.

HMV said it expected the closures to take six to eight weeks, depending on stock levels at individual stores. The company said it could not provide specific closing dates for Saskatchewan stores. 

'Source of music discovery'

SaskMusic program manager Kaelen Klypak has fond memories of visiting HMV when he was growing up.

"I used to go to HMV in the early 90s and that was my source of music discovery," Klypak told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
From the record library at CBC St. John's.

"This was before Myspace; this was before any social media; and this is where I would go to discover bands."

Although Klypak was saddened by the looming closures, he was not surprised.

He said an increasing focus on releasing singles instead of albums had a lot to do with the demise of the compact disc.

CDs also lack the physical appeal and, for now, the nostalgia of vinyl records.

Klypak doesn't expect the closure of Saskatchewan's HMV stores to have any significant effect on local artists.

Streaming music hurting artists

The bigger impact, he said, comes from the wider consumer trend of streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music.

"Artists don't make a lot of money through streaming music," he said.  

"Yes, we're moving into this more accessible platform but at the end I think we're really hurting the artists at the same time."

HMV did not respond to questions about how many Saskatchewan staff would lose their jobs as a result of the closures, but CEO Nick Williams told Billboard store workers would still be paid during the liquidation process.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning