America waves farewell to Virgin Megastores

16 June 2009

Virgin Megastores disappeared from these shores some time ago - they regenerated into Zavvi which slowly crumbled into administration - but the iconic neon continued to burn brightly in New York and across America. The flagship store in Times Square became iconic over its 23 year history, but now it's reign has come to an end; the six remaining US stores have closed in the past few days as a result of increasing rents, falling sales of CDs and DVDs and that meddling recession again:

There are fewer than 100 branded Virgin Megastores left trading in the world now - most can be found in France and Australia, and none are directly owned by Virgin anymore. Still, Branson will have us all flying through space in rocket ships soon, so it seems a reasonable price to pay.

6 comments

  • Francis R.
    Still plenty of Virgin Megasluts knocking around theough.
  • Frugal
    Anyone who believed that albums retailing for £12+vat and thought that £4 to artist, £4 to label+distributor and £4 to the shop was a fair price and divide would of seen this long ago, DVDs will go the same way too, DVDs being the last big bastion of removable media, no way will bluray catch up. Finally this is a nice big sign post to all those who sold and sell Music, from labels to retailers, at horrendous extortionate prices, this is the beginning of the end.
  • Rob
    To Mr Frugal - the beginning of the end alright ... back to a cottage industry, unless you're an existing superstar who can fund their actiovities through massive, impersonal, arena shows (the WalMart end of live music) ... the retail setup was far,far from perfect, but there are plenty of innocent casualties of the rise in downloaded music...and it's march is now remorseless ... Oh yeah and who really believes that those who download (illegally) for free, wouldn't have downloaded anyway if the price of a cd was £1.20 rather than £12.00 ... something for nothing is what they want, not value for money !!!
  • Graham
    A lot of research has been done on the affect of P2P and there is evidence that many people download illegally then eventually make a purchase if they like it. Also there are many who would pay £1.20 rather than £12. However I do agree there are many who would download even if the legal option was cheap. Something to bare in mind though - not everyone would always opt for the illegal option over a cheap alternative, meaning in the end P2P isn't as damaging as people think. We are just in the middle of finding new purchase models that replace the big megastores - no doubt it will focus on the web.
  • piratebod
    The most recent story on illegal downloading made the point that it is quality not price thats affecting the music industry at the moment - with fairly constant disposable income on 'entertainment', music has lost out to dvd and gaming. which are offering more and more bang for your buck either as extras, more involvement or higher definition. The music industry seems to blame everyone apart from itself for distrubiting a 12 track cd (at whatever price) with 4 good songs and a load of filler on it. Which is essentially the same model that has existed for 40 odd years whereas the market has significantly evolved. I currently spend my hard earned on games (£30 for a couple of months of gameplay and then online fun forever), bd's (I might watch 3 or 4 times before I've seen the standard cut, directors cut, commentaries etc.), going to live music and I still purchase some stuff. Not everything is available as a free download and the flip side is some stuff is only available online. I never liked Virgin megastores anyway, the range was very stale and at the ultimately very commercial end of the market. Great for the top 40 but little else and very expensive for what they offered.
  • wooden p.
    What's up with all the feedback here? Ordinarily I find plenty of considerate stuff here, but all of this seems like junk in my opinion. Come on guys, let's change it around.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment