Like plenty of Canadians, I acquired plenty of music music training by wandering round a Sam the Report Man retailer.
In my case, I’d be dropped off on the Backyard Metropolis Procuring Centre in Winnipeg whereas my mother took my sister to music classes. I spent untold hours flicking by way of the racks, watching what different individuals purchased, inspecting the Prime 40 singles show, and being attentive to what was enjoying on the shop stereo. I might solely afford to purchase a lot on the meagre quantity I earned by way of part-time jobs, however I nearly all the time went house with one thing.
There was additionally this magical looseleaf guide on a metallic stand that purportedly listed the artist, title, and catalogue variety of each file in existence. Submit your request to a clerk and in a mere three to 6 weeks, that file can be delivered to the shop.
There have been perhaps half a dozen of Sam’s shops in Winnipeg. I patronized all of them, particularly those at Polo Park (the place I purchased my first-ever 45, Pleasure by Apollo 100) and Unicity, a mall that was demolished way back.
Once I moved to Toronto, one of many first locations I visited was the Sam’s on Yonge Road with its well-known neon spinning information. Wandering round there by way of all of the completely different flooring was an expertise. Even after the HMV superstore moved in down the road, Sam’s usually had information in inventory nobody else did. Once I was DJing membership nights in locations like Hamilton, I usually dropped into that downtown retailer to see if I might choose up any new CDs to play that evening. And don’t get me began on the notorious Boxing Day gross sales.
Sam the Report Man started as part of Sniderman’s Radio Gross sales and Service at 714 Faculty St. in Toronto, a retailer that opened in 1920. Sam and Sidney Sniderman satisfied the household to supply up a nook of the shop for information beneath the title “Sniderman’s Music Corridor.” In 1959, enterprise was so good that they took over the basement of Yolle Furnishings on Yonge Road. Two years after that, the legendary principal retailer opened at 347 Yonge. It sat subsequent to the Steeles Tavern, which separated Sam’s from its largest competitor, A&A Information.
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The shop acquired larger and greater over time. A 3rd ground. The Third Flooring Cut price Basement. There was a video division and a spot to purchase live performance tickets. When CIBC closed a department subsequent door, that turned Sam’s annex, housing classical information. Anybody bear in mind Sam the Tape Man? It had its personal area a couple of doorways north and specialised in cassettes, 8-tracks, and reel-to-reel releases. And in the event you weren’t curious about tapes, there was Sam the Chinese language Meals Man upstairs. Within the 1990s, Sam’s jumped into computer systems with Sam the Interactive Man. All shops acquired into promoting DVDs, pre-recorded DAT tapes, and Mini-Discs. And there was Community, a free music journal.
Issues started within the early 2000s. Perhaps the chain expanded too quick. Perhaps Sam’s was the canary within the coal mine that predicted the disastrous fall in bodily music gross sales that adopted the explosion of the provision of music on-line. Perhaps Sam’s tried to be too many issues to too many individuals. Or perhaps it was the extraordinary competitors from different chains. Yonge Road, for instance, as soon as featured the best density of main file shops wherever on the planet between Queen and Gerrard.
Sam’s filed for chapter in 2001. The roughly 130 to 140 shops started closing, whittling right down to a couple of dozen franchise retailers, most of which weren’t coated by the chapter. The final corporately owned retailer outdoors of Toronto — a Halifax location — shut its doorways endlessly on Feb. 20, 2007.
The Yonge Road flagship closed endlessly on June 30, 2007, regardless of a determined effort to maintain it afloat. Ryerson College (now Metropolitan U) purchased the positioning, tore down the shop and expanded its campus with the brand new Pupil Studying Centre. The well-known spinning neon indicators have been saved and after years in storage have been put in above Yonge-Dundas Sq., now referred to as Sankofa Sq..
Yonge-Dundas sq. to be renamed Sankofa Sq. however will Torontonians use the brand new title?
However not all shops gave up the ghost. Eleven franchise places, all of which have been outdoors the chapter submitting, tried to hold on. In the end, although, they, too, disappeared.
There was a Sam the Report Man on Exmouth Road in Sarnia that held on till 2009. And final week, we heard that the final Sam’s on the planet, a location contained in the Quinte Mall in Belleville, Ontario, is to shut. It’s not that the shop isn’t doing effectively. It’s. It’s simply that after working the place for 45 years, the homeowners want to retire.
Or is it? Spencer Destun, who owns the shop in addition to a few different retailers in Kingston and Oshawa, can be very joyful if his Sam’s may very well be offered to somebody so it might keep open.
Doug Putnam, the Ancaster, Ont.-based toy mogul who purchased up all of the HMV leases when that firm went bankrupt and turned them into profitable Dawn Information places (and spectacularly is perhaps . He additionally orchestrated a spectacular turnaround for the HMV model within the U.Okay. What’s yet one more retailer?
It could be unhappy to see Sam the Report Man disappear from the Canadian panorama. Even in the event you thought it had already gone.
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