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This North American Indie Record Store Chain Grew From 8 To 82 Stores In 2017

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Much like the recorded music industry, record stores are making a comeback. While the gains are modest, some new stores are opening successfully with a mix of vinyl, merch, used music and more. One independent chain has grown to 82 stores, fueled by the vinyl resurgence and guided by technology. 

Independently owned music retailer Sunrise Records, whose history dates back to 1977, grew to an 82 store Canada-wide operation in 2017. The firm launched its expanded operations with a belief that the music business could not only survive but thrive with its offerings which include a heavy dose of vinyl.

Sunrise began as a single store located at 237 Yonge Street when Malcolm Perlman, together with his brother Roy Perlman, bought the store from the Handleman Co. in 1978. Current Sunrise President Doug Putman took over the reigns in 2014 with the vision to revitalize and expand the chain.

In March of this year, Sunrise saved 70 HMV stores from bankruptcy; and over the course of 2017, opened 4 new stores.

To bring efficiencies in its supply chain and move towards achieving full Omni channel capabilities, Sunrise engaged Spice Technology Group to help deliver on a very ambitious set of goals. “Modern retailing is simply not possible without strong IT systems capabilities," said Doug Putman, President of Sunrise Records. “We are building up these capabilities feverishly and have brought in nimble IT partners who can take us to market quickly.”

“Our customers are expecting a great in-store experience, while we prepare ourselves for the realities of the Omni channel world. SPICE has helped us tremendously by quickly deploying cloud based systems that are connecting electronically with our major label partners. Back office efficiency and keeping overhead costs low are key in this highly competitive business,” added Mary Van Santvoort, CFO of Sunrise Records.

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