Landmark Toronto Store Sam the Record Man to Close

Classic Arts News   Landmark Toronto Store Sam the Record Man to Close
Sam the Record Man, once Canada's top music retailer, whose flagship Toronto store had been an attraction for music lovers since 1961, will shut down on June 30, reports Canada's Globe and Mail.

The chain has been the most prominent victim of the changing landscape of the music industry in Canada, according to the paper. Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman and current owners of the Toronto store, said they had lost out to music downloads and to rivals such as Wal-Mart and HMV who often sell CDs at discounted rates.

U.S. chain Tower Records recently suffered the same fate.

"We are making a responsible decision in recognizing the status of the record industry and the increasing impact of technology," Bobby Sniderman said in a press release quoted by the Globe.

In 2001, Sam the Record Man declared bankruptcy, liquidating most of its stock; the store then reopened in 2002.

"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 and perhaps, other opportunities will arise for us to develop the brand in the expanding delivery of music," Bobby Sniderman said in the release.

Musician-actor Ronnie Hawkins, 72, told the Globe the closing represents "the end of an era." The Snidermans have been in the record business since Sniderman senior began selling discs in the family's radio store in 1937. He opened an outlet in a furniture store in 1960 and the flagship downtown Toronto store on Yonge Street the following year; a franchise chain developed in the late 1960s.

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