OUR STORY

Life is a but a dream.

Pop Music was founded by Derek Antonio, a kid who basically grew up in record stores. Obsessed with Much Music and Top 40 radio, that kid eventually earned the opportunity to run the biggest "record store" in Canada, the HMV Superstore at Yonge & Dundas in downtown Toronto.  The 26,000 square foot Superstore was a fan’s paradise for everything music, movies & television. As General Manager, Derek's spent most of a decade trying to make the location relevant by going after unique product offers and collaborating on special events to attract customers. He immersed himself in the buying strategy for the Superstore, leading a team of product experts who were on top of trends and could anticipate what the Superstore customer would want. While HMV Canada was doing it's best to navigate the ever-changing marketplace for home entertainment; profitability was a challenge with the accelerated shift in consumer habits towards digital consumption. In January 2017 the company was forced into receivership when it's creditors Hilco Capital (UK) withdrew it's financial support. Just a few months later, Derek locked the doors on the Superstore for the last time.  As Derek pondered the next steps in his career, he decided to act on his instinct to create his own brand and began to write his business plan. Pop Music was always just a silly idea in his head, dreamt up many years ago. This was the moment to make into reality. Many summer afternoons were spent meeting with industry influencers and surveying existing record stores in Toronto. His objective was to create something elevated, that focused on the most commercial albums without a huge retail footprint. Pop Music would also become the only record store in Canada to not feature used records. The brand vision would also include premium licensed music related apparel and merch. Pop Music would be built "for the fans". Attractive, well merchandised, and most importantly, accessible.  He spent the summer of 2017 relentlessly hunting for the perfect location that was sustainable and would draw fans in. That September Derek secured a small - but efficient space on Gerrard East, near the corner of Broadview Avenue. This popular intersection is the cross section of four thriving communities and with three major streetcar routes transporting thousands of Toronto commuters daily. No one would expect to see a record store to open here, especially something like Pop Music. Derek loved the idea that his store would definitely stick out among the dozens of established businesses. A rebel with a cause.  By October the work to create the space began and product was ordered. Derek chose albums that always sold well at HMV. Classics from every decade and nearly every genre. Derek built the merch offer using his connections to key HMV vendors who could provide premium licensed apparel and collectibles. It was also important that Pop Music could provide tools for customers looking get into vinyl. Derek chose the most popular Audio-Technica turntables, a brand that is well trusted within the vinyl community. He also chose Canadian company Kanto Audio, who could supply exceptional amplified speaker systems to pair with the turntables. When Pop Music opened it's doors in November, it immediately grabbed the attention of local press and was featured in Now MagazineblogTO and was even showcased as a cover story for The Toronto Star that December. Throughout 2018, the store continued to attract a significant client base of fans who enthusiastically supported Derek's vision of a modern record store. In 2019, the beta version of the Pop Music's eCommerce division was launched. As this year rolls on, more features and functions will be added to POP-MUSIC.CA. With the near instant success of the first location, Derek is now considering future brand expansion in 2020.

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