Posted in industry | music on March 16, 2009

Virgin Store

With CD sales sliding, "I tried my hardest to come up with a new model, and we were making a lot of headway with it before the holidays," said Virgin Entertainment Group North America CEO Simon Wright.

Virgin outlasted HMV and W.H. Smith, with the former pulling out in 2004 and the latter selling out to Camelot Music in 1998. But Virgin couldn't withstand the combined blows of big-box loss leaders, chain-store exclusive releases and digital cannibalization.

"We have made a great contribution to music retailing, but it's time to move on," Wright said. [Billboard]

PREVIOUSLY: Virgin Megstore Union Square (and San Francisco), RIP

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Comments (22)

I hope a bank opens in the empty space. This city needs more banks.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 9:02 AM

i want all the big business haters to admit they will miss virgin. i know their prices were higher than they should have been in general, but the selection and the music mecca that they represented was impressive.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 9:15 AM

I hope they turn this space into reasonably priced condos starting at $700,000.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 9:39 AM

I bought my first single in a Virgin Megastore. It was R. Kelly's 'If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time'. Seems oddly appropriate now.

Posted by leah | March 16, 2009 9:41 AM

9:15, Virgin's prices haven't been higher for a few years. Netflix, Amazon, FreshDirect . . . soon we won't have any reason to leave our apartments. Why do we even live in the city?

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 9:53 AM

i agree with 9.02. for all of the (mostly justified) bitching about their prices, this is a big loss generally for anyone who still actually cares about - and buys - recorded music. thankfully we have Other Music and a few other great spots, but i will definitely miss the breadth of available music at virgin. Yes, we need an Amoeba. But one wonders how long that would last in this city as well...

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 10:00 AM

funny, this happened to tower, hmv, sam goody, etc. but amoeba and rasputin are still here... anybody seeing a trend?

Posted by Jimmy mac | March 16, 2009 10:39 AM

A career in music was once the goal...now its like an albatross...fuck this noise...

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 10:40 AM

i guess my life time ban to the virgin megastore in times square has bee lifted! (for shoplifiting a french new wave DVD)

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 10:41 AM

When these places became "mega" -- megadome, megadeal, megastore -- that's when they lose their way.

Posted by drewo | March 16, 2009 10:55 AM

Yeah, now that Virgin is closing, where will we be able to shoplift French New Wave DVDs? Shoplifting & stealing shit on-line isn't the same. I prefer the tangible experience-- actually feeling the stolen merchandise shoved down my pants & rubbing up against my balls. You can't duplicate that shit with Amazon.

Posted by mp | March 16, 2009 11:17 AM

mmm... i wonder what they'll do with all that merchandise... may i suggest a $1-a-cd blowout?

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 12:43 PM

Uh, their merchandise will be liquidated, just like every other company that goes out of business. In fact, the Times Square store has already started. CDs are up to 40% off.

So no $1-a-CD blow-out. Things don't work that way.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 1:13 PM

hopefully this will increase sales at other music.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 1:29 PM

Damn! Most of you are wrong

three things:

1)their prices...if you're smart can/is cheaper than any music retailer in the city and online stores. Trust ME.

2)Virgin is not closing due to poor music sales or the threat of online buying/downloading. Virgin is closing because the landlords who own the buildings housing both NYC locations wanted to charge higher rent, but couldn't so they bought the company just to liquidate it for the real estate. (that's fucked up)They're known as Related/Verando.

3)I would love Amoeba to come to NYC, but I think they understand the reality of NYC's real estate trends and are avoiding our greedy trends.

No store in this city carried the selections that Union Square has....NO ONE.

Posted by damn! Most of you are wrong | March 16, 2009 1:58 PM

Shitty landlords are also the reason a lot indie record stores go under as well. They jack up the rent and the stores (especially in this climate) don't wanna get locked into an unreasonable situation.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 2:01 PM

Oh shit!...that picture reminds me to buy that shitty Crystal Castles CD before they close...I hope they are not sold out of it by the time I get there!

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 2:04 PM

what about an albatross?

Posted by Sacred Absolute Hipster Cow | March 16, 2009 3:05 PM

in virgin union sq. place will be luxury condos with 400sq.ft studios starting at 900k.

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 3:11 PM

bring on the walmart!

Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2009 10:32 PM

That may be unfavorable for the residents nearby the store but I hope that is only for a while. We don't know they are planning of a better business to be opened soon. Anyway, some people are thinking of getting payday loans to head to Rothbury this year. Rothbury is an annual music festival in Rothbury, Michigan on the fourth of July. Rothbury 2009 looks like it is definitely gong to be worth the trip, but it is on the expensive side. You get tickets plus access to campgrounds for over $100 a person. The venue is a large open area, complete with swimming hole nearby and a diverse array of musical acts, just a few of which may be worth the price of admission. Some of this year's musicians are Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and the Dead (living remnants of the Grateful Dead). It promises to be one heck of an event in Rothbury this year.

Posted by Maxwell C. | March 23, 2009 12:56 AM

So sad. No one can deny that there was no better selection in the city for music.

Posted by who gives a fuck about rothbury | June 8, 2009 12:42 PM

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