torstar file photo
The famous brand of Sam the Record Man will endure in another form, even though the digital age has forced the chain's flagship location to close, the store’s owner vowed yesterday.
Bobby Sniderman, co-owner of the massive shop that dominates Yonge Street’s record row, said energies will soon be put towards defining a new future in the wake of plummeting CD sales.
“We are very open to re-establishing this brand in some other manner,” Sniderman said as he stood in his store surrounded by CDs, cassette tapes, photographs and music memorabilia.
“It may be selling CDs, it may be online, it may be record production. I think we need to take a step back and let the dust settle and then decide how we want to proceed but hopefully there’s somebody out there who will hear this or read this and will say, ‘Hey, this is the most recognizable name in Canadian music industry, it’s a great brand.’ ”
Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman and present owners of the iconic Toronto store, announced Tuesday that the shop will shut its doors on June 30, hammered in sales by digital downloads. The news was a blow to local music fans dedicated to the warehouse-like store, known for having the most extensive catalogue in the country and for being a downtown mainstay with its flashy neon sign in the shape of two vinyl records.
Several groups on the social networking website Facebook are calling to save the sign, which is being called a “Toronto landmark.” The largest group, “Save the Sam’s sign,” has more than 1,000 members.
Sniderman said the hundreds of photographs, gold records and artifacts that line the store’s walls may end up in a museum but he was unsure about the fate of the building. He said he’s heard that several parties are interested in taking over the property, including nearby Ryerson University.