HOME
The Info List - Virgin Megastores



--- Advertisement ---


(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

VIRGIN MEGASTORES is an international entertainment retailing chain, founded by Sir Richard Branson as a record shop on London's Oxford Street in early 1976.

In 1979 the company opened their first Megastore at the end of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road . The company expanded to hundreds of stores worldwide in the 1990s, but has lost a large number of stores in recent years, largely with the sale and eventual closing of the UK, US, Irish, Canadian, Australian, Italian, Spanish, French, Greek and Japanese stores. By 2015, current operations are exclusively in the Middle East and in North Africa, consisting of approximately 40 stores.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Branson\'s early business ventures

* 1.2 Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores

* 1.2.1 Ownership

* 2 Store experience

* 2.1 Product range

* 3 Technology

* 4 Operations

* 4.1 Europe

* 4.1.1 Austria * 4.1.2 France * 4.1.3 Germany * 4.1.4 Greece
Greece
* 4.1.5 Hungary * 4.1.6 Italy
Italy
* 4.1.7 The Netherlands * 4.1.8 Spain * 4.1.9 UK / Ireland * 4.1.10 Turkey

* 4.2 Arab world

* 4.2.1 Lebanon
Lebanon
* 4.2.2 Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
* 4.2.3 Bahrain
Bahrain
* 4.2.4 Egypt
Egypt
* 4.2.5 Kuwait
Kuwait
* 4.2.6 Qatar
Qatar
* 4.2.7 United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
* 4.2.8 Jordan
Jordan
* 4.2.9 Morocco
Morocco
* 4.2.10 Syria
Syria
* 4.2.11 Oman

* 4.3 North America

* 4.3.1 United States

* 4.3.1.1 Store closures * 4.3.1.2 In-stores * 4.3.1.3 Technology * 4.3.1.4 Website

* 4.3.2 Canada

* 4.4 Oceania

* 4.4.1 Australia
Australia

* 4.5 Asia

* 4.5.1 Japan * 4.5.2 China

* 5 Virgin Books and Music
Music
* 6 References * 7 External links

HISTORY

Further information: Virgin Megastores UK

BRANSON\'S EARLY BUSINESS VENTURES

Richard Branson and Nik Powell had initially run a small record shop called Virgin Records
Virgin Records
and Tapes on Notting Hill Gate
Notting Hill Gate
, London
London
, specialising particularly in "krautrock " imports, and offering bean bags and free vegetarian food for the benefit of customers listening to the music on offer. After making the shop into a success, they turned their business into a fully fledged record label, Virgin Records . The name VIRGIN, according to Branson (in his autobiography), arose from a colleague of his when they were brainstorming business ideas. She suggested Virgin – as they were all new to business – like "virgins". The first release on the label was the progressive rock album Tubular Bells by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield in 1973.

VIRGIN MEGASTORES

Virgin's first formal store opened on London's Oxford Street
Oxford Street
in January or February 1971 (exact date uncertain). In 1979 the company opened their first Megastore at the end of Oxford Street
Oxford Street
and Marble Arch. Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
and Virgin Records
Virgin Records
operate as entirely separate entities, like many of the other Virgin companies. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
opened over 100 stores in the UK, and many others around the world. Simon Wright – Chief Executive of the Virgin Entertainment Group from 1999 to 2009 was very instrumental in the worldwide growth of the stores in particular developing the stores in Asia, the Middle East, Australia
Australia
and North America before their eventual disposals under license detailed under Ownership.

Ownership

Virgin Megastore bank vault on Champs Elysées , Paris
Paris

Like many of Branson's Virgin brands, Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
is not wholly owned by the Virgin Group . During the early to mid-2000s Virgin Group decided to sell off most of its Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
to various companies, including the Lagardere Group . By 2001 the Virgin Megastores worldwide were split between the Virgin Group and the Lagardère Group . The Virgin Group kept the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States and Japan outlets while the Lagardère Group obtained the shops in France and travel retail locations globally including Australia
Australia
, China, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
, Qatar
Qatar
, Greece
Greece
, Italy
Italy
, Egypt
Egypt
, Lebanon
Lebanon
and Jordan
Jordan
.

Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in the Middle East currently trades as V Star Multimedia LLC. Culture Convenience Club owns what was Virgin Megastores Japan, which have since been rebranded as Tsutaya. The Australian Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
and Virgin at Myer
Myer
concept stores were operated by Brazin Limited ( Sanity Entertainment after 2009) until all were closed in 2010; Brazin also ran local HMV
HMV
outlets, in addition to their own Sanity brand. In December 2007 Butler Capital Partners announced their intention to mount a majority takeover of the French arm of Virgin from Lagardère. This deal was finalised in February 2008.

In 2007 the real estate company Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust acquired Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
North America. Related and Vornado happened to be the landlords for the two most profitable stores in the United States and those stores were profitable because they had long term leases in which rents were locked in at an extremely low rate. Both real estate companies wanted to break the leases and replace Virgin with new tenants that were willing to pay the then current highly inflated rental rates that would make an entertainment retail business unprofitable. They have since made the decision to close all of the American stores.

TERRITORY MEGASTORE OWNER/OPERATOR MEGASTORES BOOKS AND MUSIC NUMBER OF MEGASTORES

UK and Ireland Zavvi Entertainment Group (2007–2008) N N 125, all closed

France Butler Capital Partners (80%) / LS Travel Retail
Retail
(15%) / Virgin Mobile France (5%) N N 35, all closed

La Réunion, France SA Mediastore (100%) under Virgin Group Licence N N 1, all closed (licence broke in 2010)

Australia Brazin Limited/ Sanity Entertainment (2001–2010) HDS Retail
Retail
Asia Pacific /LS Travel Retail
Retail
(2004–2012) N N 24, all closed

USA Virgin Entertainment Group ( Related Companies / Vornado Realty Trust ) N N 23, all closed (2 Virgin Books and Music
Music
stores)

Japan Marui Co/Culture Convenience Club/Tsutaya Stores Holdings (1990–2009) N N 22, all closed

Greece Vivere Entertainment N N 15 in 2005 - all closed

Hungary Fotex Records N N 1 in 2000 - all closed

Italy

N N 4, all closed

Spain Virgin Entertainment Group N N 9, all closed

Germany HDS Retail
Retail
/LS Travel Retail
Retail
N N All closed (5 Virgin Stores)

The Netherlands Free Record Shop group N N 4, all closed

Canada Virgin Entertainment Group N N All closed (1 Virgin Books and Music
Music
store)

Middle East (UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman) Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Middle East (Azadea Group) Y N

* 12 in UAE
UAE
(2015) * 4 in Qatar
Qatar
(2015) * 3 in Egypt
Egypt
(2015) * 2 in Jordan
Jordan
(2015) * 1 in Bahrain
Bahrain
(2015) * 1 in Oman (2015)

Lebanon, Saudi Arabia Megastores of Lebanon
Lebanon
S.A.L. Y N

* 7 in Lebanon
Lebanon
(2015) * 5 in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(2015)

Morocco Best Financière (Label Vie Carrefour) Y N 5 (2015)

STORE EXPERIENCE

PRODUCT RANGE

Main hall of Virgin Megastore Paris
Paris

Virgin shops have a wide selection of CDs , games, books, DVDs , vinyl records , magazines, portable media players, accessories and additional products such as calendars, board games and Virgin branded items. Larger stores also stock electronic equipment and computer peripherals. Note that not all of these product categories are stocked by all Virgin shops, though the larger stores do generally stock the full product range.

In 2003, all US Stores increased their focus on multiple fashion categories spanning Pop culture, Street, Urban, Movie "> Legend: Former locations Current locations No data

EUROPE

Austria

In 2003, the first and only Virgin Megastore in Vienna, Mariahilferstraße, was sold and closed.

France

The façade of Virgin Megastore Paris
Paris

There were 35 Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in France. 12 additional stores in France were branded Furet du Nord, and about 10 international stores were owned by the same company. The French Megastore business was launched in 1988 by Branson and Patrick Zelnick, CEO of music publisher Naïve.

Lagardère Group bought the chain in 2001. In December 2007 Butler Capital Partners announced their intention to mount a majority takeover of the French arm of Virgin from Lagardère. This deal was finalised in February 2008. According to the Lagardère 2007 report, 80% of the Virgin stores was to be sold by Lagardère Services at a value of €76.4 million, and 20% would be kept. Prior to this sale 51% of VirginMega, France's number 2 music download website, was transferred to the Virgin Stores company (sold to Butler), and the remaining 49% was kept by Lagardère Active.

In July 2012, LS Travel Retail
Retail
announced that they will phase out the Virgin Entertainment brand in France, commencing 2013, converting all remaining Virgin travel outlets into larger sized Fnac formats stocking the same range in addition to more product lines.

In January 2013, Virgin Megastore France filed for bankruptcy. At that time there were 26 Megastores in France, employing 1,000 people, after two years of cutting over 200 staff and several shops. The company had taken steps to terminate the lease on its flagship Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées
store in Paris
Paris
after 25 years on the famous street. In June 2013 the company was finally liquidated and ceased operations after 25 years.

Germany

Virgin Megastore withdrew from the German market in 1994, amid complaints that the country's shop-closing law was too restrictive. Virgin returned to Germany with a new store, Virgin Books and Music, that opened in the Berlin Hauptbahnhof central station in Berlin in May 2006. There are now 5 Virgin Stores in Germany, operated by HDS Retail
Retail
.

Greece

As of June 2005 there were 15 Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Greece
Greece
, operated by Vivere Entertainment. As of 2015, no Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
exist in the country.

Hungary

In 1996, local merchandising group Fotex opened the first and only Hungarian Virgin Megastore (1000 m2) in the first "western" shopping mall, Duna Plaza, in Budapest. It was operated under a franchise until 2000. Between 2001 and 2006, Fotex operated the store as "Hungaroton Gigastore". The shop was closed in 2006 and no more Virgin Megastore shops were opened in Hungary.

Italy

In February 2004 the last Virgin Megastore, in Piazza Duomo Milan
Milan
, closed. Currently this building is occupied by Mondadori
Mondadori
retail store.

The Netherlands

Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
entered the Dutch market in the 1990s and operated four stores (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Maastricht). In 2000, it decided to exit the market. Three stores were sold to the Free Record Shop group, while the Maastricht branch was closed. Free Record Shop also acquired three Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Belgium.

Spain

In June 1998 the 9 Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
closed including its southern European flagship store in Barcelona
Barcelona
. Currently this building is occupied by Zara clothes store.

UK / Ireland

Former Virgin Megastore in Oxford Street
Oxford Street
– the chain's flagship shop.

The first Virgin Megastore opened in the United Kingdom in 1979 and between the 1980s and 1990s, the chain grew, most notably through its merger with Our Price whilst under the ownership of WH Smith
WH Smith
. By the 1990s Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
had become an international franchise as part of the Virgin Group .

The Virgin Group sought to sell its UK and Ireland stores during 2007, and on 17 September 2007, it was announced that the UK and Ireland arm of the Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
brand was to break away from the Virgin Group. A management buy-out offer was accepted. Stores were rebranded as 'Zavvi '.

Following the collapse of Woolworths , which owned Zavvi's supplier Entertainment UK , Zavvi entered administration on 24 December 2008 as it had been unable to source stock from other suppliers under favourable terms. By February 2009 Zavvi had closed its stores, selling some to rival HMV
HMV
, and a few to Simon Douglas and Les Whitfield's Head Entertainment .

Turkey

Virgin entered the Turkish market on March 2011 with a store located in the Demirören shopping centre on Istiklal Street near Taksim , Istanbul
Istanbul
. The product mix of books, digital media and electronics failed to compete with better established chains and the store closed in autumn 2012.

ARAB WORLD

The Azadea Group of Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon
has an exclusive license since 2001 to operate Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in many countries within the Middle East, except for countries which already have a franchise. Operating as Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Middle East, Azadea has stores in UAE
UAE
, Qatar
Qatar
, Bahrain
Bahrain
, Egypt
Egypt
, and Jordan
Jordan
.

Megastores of Lebanon
Lebanon
S.A.L. has an exclusive franchise to operate Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Lebanon
Lebanon
and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
.

Best Financière (Label Vie Carrefour) of Rabat
Rabat
has an exclusive license to operate Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
within Morocco
Morocco
. Since 2010, Best has been opening a new store nearly every year.

Antar Group of Damascus
Damascus
has an exclusive to operate Virgin Megastores in Syria
Syria
since 2007. Since the Syrian Civil War
Syrian Civil War
has caused most normal economic activities to virtually cease in the country since 2011, all megastores in the country are currently closed and may not return until political stability returns.

Lebanon

Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, the first Virgin Megastore to open in the Middle East on 3 July 2001

Virgin's main store in Lebanon
Lebanon
is located in the old Cinema Opera on Martyrs\' Square , Beirut Central District
Beirut Central District
; it opened on 3 July 2001. The four level store's inauguration was attended by Virgin's founder Richard Branson . There are also smaller stores at ABC Mall Achrafieh
Achrafieh
, CityMall Dora , as well as in Beirut International Airport .

Saudi Arabia

First megastore in Riyadh opened in February 2015

As of 20 December 2015, there are four Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Saudi Arabia. They are located on Tahliah Street in the Roshana Centre, Red Sea Mall and on in Jeddah
Jeddah
domestic airport in Jeddah
Jeddah
and there's one at Dhahran Mall Eastern Province

Bahrain

As of September 2008, there is currently one Virgin Megastore in Bahrain
Bahrain
. It is in the Bahrain
Bahrain
City Centre .

Egypt

The first Egyptian store was opened at the City Stars Mall in Cairo in October 2005. Six years later, a second location was opened at the Mall of Arabia in 6th of October City
6th of October City
in December 2011. A third location was opened at the Festival City Mall in Cairo in June 2015.

Kuwait

The first location in Kuwait
Kuwait
opened in 2002. As of May 2008, there were two Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Kuwait
Kuwait
: one at Marina Mall in Salmiya , and one at the airport . However, by late 2011 the airport branch was shut down, while the second branch shut down in March 2012.

Qatar

Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
currently has two stores in Qatar
Qatar
, with one being located in the Villaggio Mall (an Italian-themed mall), Doha
Doha
which is the shopping centre's main anchor. In November 2008 they opened a smaller store in a shopping centre called Landmark .

United Arab Emirates

Virgin Megastore in Dubai

The first Virgin Megastore in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
in September 2001 at the Deira City Centre in Dubai, two months after the opening in Beirut. A few months later, the second store in the country was opened in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
in October 2001. A fourth store in UAE
UAE
opened in Jumeirah in 2002.

By October 2005, there were four stores in the UAE, with stores at the Deira City Center, at Burjuman and at Mercato Mall in Dubai and at the Abu Dhabi Mall in Abu Dhabi. A month later, Branson was present at the Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
opening at the Mall of the Emirates
Mall of the Emirates
in Dubai.

Sometime between 2009 and 2010, the ownership for the Virgin Megastore franchise in the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
and the Middle east was transferred from Star Multimedia to Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Middle East, Azadea Group . By May 2010, stores were also added at the Mirdif City Centre and at the Jumeira Beach residence in Dubai to make a total of seven stores in the UAE.

The eighth store in the UAE
UAE
was opened in September 2011 at the Dubai Mall in Dubai. The Jumeirah Beach residence appeared to have been closed sometime before September 2012, bring the store count back down to seven.

A second store in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
opened at the Al Wahda Mall in November 2012.

As of November 2012, there were eight Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in the UAE
UAE
six of which are located in Dubai.

In December 2014, a store was opened at the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The thirteenth store in the UAE
UAE
was opened at the Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain in July 2015.

As well as being an all-rounded entertainment retailer, these Megastores also act as venues, with artist signings/appearances, performances and quiz nights and a newly launched boutique section offering everything from movie memorabilia to jewellery.

This store is quite popular among locals and expats in the country, as this is the only store where they sell more music than most stores in the country, which also explains why the country has more branches than the other Gulf countries.

Jordan

The first Virgin Megastore in Jordan
Jordan
opened in Amman
Amman
at the City Mall in September 2007. A second location, also in Amman, was opened at the Taj Mall in October 2015.

Morocco

In 2007, Best Financière (Label Vie Carrefour) of Rabat
Rabat
received a franchise from Lagardère to operate Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Morocco
Morocco
. The first store in Morocco
Morocco
opened at the Almazar mall in Marrakech
Marrakech
in April 2010. A second store was opened in Rabat
Rabat
(Kitéa Géant Mall) in December 2012 which was quickly followed weeks later by the openings of two additional stores in Casablanca
Casablanca
(AnfaPlace Shopping Center) and Fez (Borj Fez Mall). A fifth store was opened in downtown Casablanca
Casablanca
in September 2015. In August 2016, a sixth store was opened on the property of a Carrefour Store located in the Sidi Maârouf Neighbourhood next to the city of Casablanca.

Syria

In 2007, Antar Group of Damascus
Damascus
was awarded a franchise by Lagardère to operate Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Syria
Syria
. The Antar Group was in the process of opening a store in the Al Shahba Mall in Aleppo
Aleppo
when the Syrian Civil War
Syrian Civil War
broke out in 2011. The business has since closed after the mall had been heavily damaged during the fighting.

Oman

The first Virgin Megastore in Oman opened in Muscat in November 2015 at the Muscat City Centre.

NORTH AMERICA

United States

Virgin Megastore in San Francisco
San Francisco
.

In 1992, the Virgin Group and Blockbuster entered into a joint venture to set up the first Virgin Megastore on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles , which was closed in 2008. At its peak, there were 23 Megastores in the U.S. which generated $310 million annually. The U.S. stores were purchased by Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust in 2007 for the purpose of closing the stores and to break the long term long rental leases.

Store Closures

Under new ownership, eleven stores were gradually closed in 2007. On 2 March 2009, it was announced that all Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in the United States would close.

The store at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, CA closed in 2005 and was converted to an Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
, while the Grapevine Mills location was closed at the end of 2008. Related Companies announced that the Virgin Megastore flagship store in Times Square
Times Square
would close by April 2009, with the space being replaced by Forever 21 . On 25 February 2009 it was announced that the stores in San Francisco
San Francisco
and Union Square (New York) would close in April and May, respectively, and the announcement of all stores closing followed soon thereafter. On May 12, 2009, the Virgin Megastore at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World closed permanently. As of September 2012, the last remaining Virgin Books & Music
Music
outlet operated in Terminal 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport . Both airport locations closed by the middle of 2013. The JFK Airport location was closed by the time Terminal 3 was demolished and converted into a parking lot in 2013.

In-stores

Most locations included an in-store radio station, branded Virgin Radio. U.S. Virgin Radio
Virgin Radio
was not a broadcast radio station, but a DJ operated hard-lines system which broadcast throughout the store, and the complex in which the store was located. At the Times Square location, DJ selections were heard on the retail floor, in the office areas, processing areas, and even out on the shop's Broadway sidewalk frontage.

All employees of the U.S. Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
could be identified by their trademark red or black t-shirts which had the Virgin logo on the front and the word STAFF on the back, as well as required lanyards with their first name printed on them.

Technology

The Virgin Megastore chain in the U.S. had a different GSA look-up system to other the international arms of the chain. This system was a private network that linked all North American stores, updating each shop's product inventory every 24 to 48 hours. The GSA was reportedly accessible from the internet.

American Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
implemented a near real-time data warehouse in 2004. The data warehouse named 'Crescendo' collects POS transactions, along with customer traffic counts and generates KPI reports in near real-time. The near real-time information helped the managers identify trends quicker and react accordingly. The U.S. stores shared their experience with the real-time warehouse and the UK stores also used similar process.

Virgin Megastore (U.S.) had a Customer Loyalty Program named 'Virgin V.I.P.' The Program used a read/write 'GraphiCard'. Every time a member purchase is made, the Graphicard was swiped through the POS Graphicard Terminal. Members points were instantly updated on the face of the card. The website shared the loyalty program with the U.S. stores.

Website

Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
U.S. website is VirginMega.com. In 2002 this website became co-branded with Amazon.com
Amazon.com
, and was powered by Amazon. Later in 2002 VirginMega.co.jp, the Japanese equivalent, followed suit. In 2007 the website was again changed, when Virgin Megastores partnered with Baker "> A Virgin Megastore in Brisbane

In 1992, the Virgin Group and Blockbuster Inc. entered into a joint venture to set up Australia's first Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Sydney
Sydney
, Melbourne
Melbourne
and Adelaide
Adelaide
. This lasted until Virgin sold their interest in the six stores to Blockbuster, who promptly rebranded them in 1993 to Blockbuster Music.

In October 2001, Brazin Limited (owner of Australia's largest entertainment retailer, Sanity ) reintroduced Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in the country via two related transactions with the Virgin Group, acquiring 77 troubled Our Price music stores in the UK for a symbolic £2, and inturn gaining exclusive license rights in Australia
Australia
for Virgin Entertainment, initially setting up the first Virgin Megastore on Chapel Street\'s , The Jam Factory in April 2002. Brazin also intended to use the Virgin brand to open 45 new Megastores in addition to converting 55 of its existing small-scale IN2 Music
Music
stores that had not already been rebranded as Sanity. Yet, the programme stalled as Brazin battled internal disruptions and struggled to separate the target-markets for Virgin and its chain of more than 200 Sanity stores (at the time). As a result, the company's entertainment division posted a $27 million loss in financial year, 2002–03, and by mid-2004, Brazin had only managed to open 12 Virgin Megastores.

In September 2003, Brazin sold out of its 118-store Sanity UK (former Our Price and VShop outlets) store network to Primemist Limited. In July 2004, Brazin entered into an agreement with Coles Myer to open 62 Virgin concept stores within the Myer
Myer
department store chain. Brazin agreed to buy all of Myer's remaining CD and DVD
DVD
stock, recruit, train and pay their own staff, and work within Myer's systems and promotions. These concept stores were marketed separately to stand-alone Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
(due to their more limited stock availability) and branded, Virgin at Myer. This solved Brazin's problem since 2002 by separating the Virgin and Sanity target markets by making Virgin more "family orientated" while leaving Sanity's "street edge" to continue. Exactly a year later, Brazin stated that after a rocky start (with staff recruitment issues and aligning products with the typical Myer
Myer
customer), Virgin at Myer
Myer
was up 45 per cent on comparative sales and was performing well.

In December 2004, HDS Retail
Retail
Asia Pacific opened Australia's first Virgin Books and Music
Music
travel outlet at Melbourne
Melbourne
Airport . Since then, the company – now known as LS Travel Retail
Retail
– opened another five Virgin outlets at other major capital city airports in addition to one railway outlet at Southern Cross Station
Southern Cross Station
in Melbourne. Yet, by early 2012, all of these stores have been closed.

By mid-2010, Sanity Entertainment (formally Brazin Limited) closed all Virgin Megastores. Also, in August of that year, all Virgin at Myer
Myer
concept stores stopped operating under the Virgin brand due to Sanity Entertainment not renewing their contract with Myer
Myer
Holdings (formally Coles Myer) and were either closed or converted back into a basic audio/visual department operated by Myer
Myer
(in 2011, these non-branded audio/visual departments were later closed by Myer anyway). Sanity elected to exit the Virgin brand despite the licensing deal running until 2015.

Virgin Entertainment's Australian peak was reached in 2006 with 24 Virgin Megastores, 62 Virgin at Myer
Myer
outlets, and 2 Virgin Books and Music
Music
stores in operation. As of September 2012, Australia
Australia
contains no more Virgin Entertainment outlets.

ASIA

Japan

In 1990 Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Japan Limited was started as a 50/50 venture between Marui and the Virgin Entertainment Group. In September 1990, the first Japanese Virgin Megastore opened in Shinjuku. During the 1990s, more Megastores were opened all over Japan. On 19 September 2002, following its American counterpart, the VirginMega.co.jp website became powered by Amazon.co.jp . This website has since disappeared.

In 2005 Culture Convenience Club bought Virgin Megastore's operations (totalling 22 stores) in Japan from Marui Co. By November 2008 the number of Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Japan had lessened to 15. Culture Convenience Club's licensing contract with Virgin Group for the use of the Virgin Megastore brand had expired, and there was no desire to renew it. As of November 2008 Culture Convenience Club's subsidiary company, Tsutaya Stores Holdings Co., is expected to acquire Virgin Megastores Japan Co. Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Japan are to be rebranded as Tsutaya by early 2009.

China

In November 2007, HDS Retail
Retail
Asia Pacific (now known as LS Travel Retail
Retail
) opened China's first and only Virgin Books and Music
Music
travel outlet at Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai
Shanghai
. As of June 2012, it is still in operation.

VIRGIN BOOKS AND MUSIC

VIRGIN BOOKS AND MUSIC is a Virgin-branded entertainment retail chain exclusive to airports and travel locations, operated by the Lagardère Services division of the French conglomerate Lagardère Group . Such stores have a much smaller size than Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
and currently operate in 10 countries: Canada, China, Germany, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

REFERENCES

* ^ "Who\'s Richard Branson". Virgin Group. Retrieved 11 April 2008. * ^ "Virgin Megastore: Music
Music
and entertainment stores around the world". Virgin.com. Retrieved 23 September 2012. * ^ Lott, Tim (26 March 2004). "The day my music died". London: The Guardian . Retrieved 17 September 2007. * ^ Koranteng, Juliana (18 August 2001). "VEG Plans For Overseas Growth: French Sale Is Step Toward Gaining New Prominence, CEO Says". Billboard . 113 (33). ISSN 0006-2510 . * ^ "Lagardère Media acquires Virgin Stores in France" (Press release). Lagardère Group. 26 July 2001. Retrieved 11 April 2008. * ^ "Privacy Policy". VMegaNews. Archived from the original on 2008-06-29. Retrieved 27 May 2008. * ^ A B "Lagardère SCA: Takeover of Virgin Group: final agreement". Reuters. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2009. * ^ " Related Companies to Acquire Virgin Entertainment Group Virgin Megastores North America" (Press release). PR Newswire. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2008. * ^ A B Keil, Braden (18 August 2007). "Realty Bigs Buy Virgin Megastores". New York Post . * ^ A B C D E "Virgin Megastore MENA - Find a Store". Virgin Megastore Middle East. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. * ^ A B "Virgin Megastore Opens at City Centre Muscat, Oman". Azadea (Press release). 3 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Branches". Virgin Megastore Lebanon. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Branches". Virgin Megastore Saudi Arabia. * ^ Mekouar, Hamza (13 August 2015). "Virgin Megastore ouvre son cinquième magasin au Maroc" . Huffington Post Morocco
Morocco
(in French). * ^ "Virgin Entertainment Group Launches Ben Sherman Boutiques Inside Select Virgin Megastores". PR Newswire (Press release). 12 February 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 26 May 2008 – via Access My Library. * ^ " Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
to set up outlets in Megastores". Europe Intelligence Wire (Press release). 4 August 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 26 May 2008 – via Access My Library. * ^ " Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
USA is Virgin Megastores\' One and Only". PR Newswire (Press release). 20 June 2002. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 26 May 2008 – via Access My Library. * ^ "SSP wins contract for French Virgin Megastores". CatererSearch. 26 July 2001. Retrieved 26 May 2008. * ^ Smith, Tony (23 June 2004). " Virgin Digital sets US, UK debut dates". Register. Retrieved 26 May 2008. * ^ "Q&A: Virgin\'s digital shutdown". BBC News. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2008. * ^ "Virgin Megastore in Wiener Mariahilfer Straße verkauft" . Format_(magazine) (in German). 2 October 2003. * ^ Pichevin, Aymeric (28 December 2007). "Virgin France Retailer Changes Hands". Billboard . * ^ "Lagardère Reference Document 2007 (Annual Report 2007)" (PDF). Lagardère. 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2009. * ^ Lipsith, Gavin (3 July 2012). "LS travel retail and Aéroports de Paris
Paris
redefine Paris
Paris
CdG retail offer". The Moodie Report. Retrieved 11 September 2012. * ^ Rozario, Kevin (3 July 2012). " Fnac expands at CDG as Virgin exits". The Travel Retail
Retail
Business. Retrieved 11 September 2012. * ^ "Virgin France declares insolvency". BBC News
BBC News
. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. * ^ "Virgin Megastore France to file for insolvency Jan. 9". Reuters
Reuters
. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. * ^ Willsher, Kim (4 January 2013). "Virgin France to shut Paris flagship store, blaming insolvency". The Guardian
The Guardian
. Retrieved 17 February 2013. * ^ Casassus, Barbara (17 June 2013). "France\'s Virgin Megastore goes into liquidation". The Bookseller. Retrieved 13 October 2013. * ^ Mitchener, Brandon (11 September 1995). "Virgin Learns You Can\'t Always Get What You Want". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved 26 May 2008. * ^ " Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Hellas Launches Greek Digital Music
Music
Service Powered by Loudeye" (Press release). PR Newswire. 14 June 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2009. * ^ "History". Fotex. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. * ^ "Kulturális hírek" . Magyar Narancs (in Hungarian). 17 October 1996. * ^ Carlo, Lovati (8 February 2004). "Virgin megastore, la musica è finita" . Corriere della Sera
Corriere della Sera
(in Italian). Archived from the original on 2009-09-08. * ^ "Free Record Shop Sluit Virgin winkels" (in Dutch). Automatiseringsgids. 3 July 2000. Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 19 May 2009. * ^ "Maastricht city guide". BBC Collective. 1 February 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-09-19. Retrieved 19 May 2009. * ^ "Branson sells Virgin music stores". BBC News. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2008. * ^ "Zavvi placed into administration". BBC News. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2014. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Turkiye". Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2011. * ^ "Virgin Megastore expands Middle East business". 6 January 2008. At a press conference held at Virgin Megastore’s Mall of the Emirates store, the entertainment retailer revealed its future plans for the region, as it renewed its right to operate the Virgin Megastores in the region for another thirteen years with Virgin Stores France. The agreement was signed by the CEO of Virgin Stores France and the President of Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Middle East. Azadea Group, the holding company for Virgin Megastore in the Middle East, first licensed the brand from Virgin Stores France in 2001 for a seven year period. Since then, it has opened up 11 stores across the region, with another three slated to open in 2008. * ^ A B C D "Virgin Megastore soon in Syria
Syria
and Morocco". Lagardère Services (Press release). 6 February 2007. * ^ "Newcomers to the city center". The Quarterly. Solidere. July–September 2001. Retrieved 18 October 2009. * ^ A B Derhally, Massoud (6 August 2001). "Virgin King: Britain’s biggest entrepreneur looks to the East". Arabian Business . Sir Richard Branson, its charismatic chairman and president, touched down on July 3 in Beirut, Lebanon. In all the hustle and bustle of the occasion, billionaire Branson managed to inaugurate a 30,000 square-foot, $10 million Virgin Megastore, erected on what used to mark the old Opera cinema. Next on the list — Dubai. Currently, construction is underway at the renowned City Centre shopping mall. * ^ "Virgin". What's Up Lebanon. Archived from the original on 2005-11-03. Retrieved 27 July 2008. * ^ "Virgin Megastore opens its first store in Riyadh". Virgin Megastore Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(Press release). 19 February 2015. * ^ "Alissa inaugurates the opening of Virgin MegaStore in Cairo". Al Bawaba . 4 October 2005. * ^ A B "Store Locations". VMegaNews. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 27 May 2008. * ^ "The long awaited Virgin Mega Store is finally OPEN at Mall of Arabia.". Mall of Arabia Cairo. 17 December 2011 – via Facebook. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Opens at Cairo Festival City Mall, Egypt". Azadea (Press release). 21 June 2015. * ^ A B Abdullah, Shadiah (4 July 2002). "Virgin, Dubai FM launch chart show". Gulf News . Virgin Megastore has three branches in the UAE, a fourth opening in Jumeirah and a fifth in Kuwait, both in the fall. * ^ Broomhall, Elizabeth (9 February 2012). "Virgin Megastore pulls Kuwait
Kuwait
operations, store to close end-Feb". Arabian Business. * ^ A B Mallari, Dennis B. (24 May 2008). "Mega makeover in store for Virgin". Business 24-7. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 27 May 2008. * ^ "Company Profile". VMegaNews. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 27 May 2008. * ^ " Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
gets Virgin Megastore". Gulf News . 22 October 2001. After its debut in Dubai, the Virgin Megastore opened in Abu Dhabi yesterday. * ^ A B "Virgin Megastore plans to invest $20m in Dubai: Virgin Megastore is planning to spend $20 million in the UAE
UAE
on projects over the next two years.". Gulf News . 28 October 2005. If you look at all the big malls in the area, such as City Centre, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Mall, Burjuman and now Mall of the Emirates, you will see Virgin in everyone. Currently, Virgin has branches in malls around Dubai including Deira City Center, Burjuman and Mercato. Already, a 4,000-square-metre megastore is set to open in Mall of the Emirates this November. * ^ "Virgin Megastore UAE- Kuwait
Kuwait
Locations (2005)". VStar Multimedia LLC. Archived from the original on 2005-09-23. * ^ Addington, Tim (30 October 2005). "Virgin plots store launch blitz". Arabian Business . British business tycoon Sir Richard Branson will make a short visit to Dubai in November to open Virgin’s latest Megastore... the company’s largest Megastore in the Middle East at the Mall of the Emirates. The Virgin boss was present at the opening of the company’s Deira City Centre outlet in Dubai in 2001 and also helped launch its Kuwait
Kuwait
branch in 2002. The Virgin Megastore at the Mall of the Emirates
Mall of the Emirates
is the company’s largest in the region, measuring 4000 square metres, and its opening comes just weeks after Virgin inaugurated its first store in Cairo. ...the new Dubai branch, which brings the number of stores it has in the Middle East to seven. * ^ "Virgin Megastore UAE- Kuwait
Kuwait
Company Profile (2009)". VStar Multimedia LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Profile (2010)". Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Middle East. Archived from the original on 2010-05-13. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Find a Store (2010)". Virgin Megastores Middle East. Archived from the original on 2010-05-13. * ^ Nair, Manoj (13 September 2011). "Virgin celebrates 10 years in region with Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall
store". Gulf News . Retrieved 14 March 2013. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Find a Store (2011)". Virgin Megastores Middle East. Archived from the original on 2011-10-25. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Find a Store (Sep 2012)". Virgin Megastores Middle East. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. * ^ Badih, Samia (1 November 2012). "Virgin Megastore opens second Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
outlet". Gulf News . Retrieved 14 March 2013. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Find a Store (Dec 2012)". Virgin Megastores Middle East. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. * ^ Haider, Haseeb (3 November 2012). "Virgin Megastore opens new outlet". Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times
. * ^ "Shoppers delight at Virgin Megastore". Gulf News . 17 December 2014. Celebrations are held for the opening of a new Virgin Megastore at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. * ^ "Al Ain\'s Al Jimi Mall is pleased to welcome Virgin Megastore.". Gulf Retail
Retail
News. 29 July 2015. * ^ "Virgin Megastore opens in Al Ain: It is the retailer’s 13th store in the UAE". Gulf News . 28 July 2015. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Amman
Amman
opens September 5th, 2007". Moeys.net (blog). 4 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 7 July 2008. * ^ "Virgin Megastore Grand Opening @ Taj Mall". Jordan
Jordan
Sun. 16 October 2015. * ^ "Best Financière franchit un nouveau palier" . L\'Économiste (in French) (3215). 18 February 2010. The Virgin Megastore shop in Marrakech, 2,600 square meters with an investment of 50 million dirhams, is the first of five planned in the development plan of the sign within three years. Two more will be opened in Morocco
Morocco
and two in Tunisia and Algeria. Best Financial holds the franchise for the Maghreb region. * ^ "Virgin Megastore s\'implante à Marrakech" . ITR News (in French). 22 March 2010. It is an event in Marrakech, Virgin is about to open its first Moroccan there Megastore on 2,000 m². Located in the new shopping center Almazar, it will be inaugurated on April 2, 2010. * ^ Badri, Ghizlane (16 December 2012). "Virgin Megastore met le turbo" . Les inspirations ÉCO (in French). Second Moroccan anchor Virgin Megastore. The famous brand distribution of cultural and technological products, present in Morocco
Morocco
since 2010 and builds on the success of its first store in Marrakech
Marrakech
and aims to spin its web in Morocco. Precisely February 8, 2013, the store at the Kitéa Géant mall in Hay Riad open. The next store will open in Casablanca
Casablanca
February 8, 2013 at Anfa Place Mall. * ^ "Magasin Virgin Megastore : et de deux pour Best Financière" . Challenge Magazine
Magazine
(in French). 17 December 2012. The Best Financial group of Label'Vie Group, opened the second store Virgin Megastore at Kitéa Géant Mall in Hay Riad. * ^ Bonnel, Cyril (25 April 2013). "Distribution Au Maroc, Virgin Megastore voit l’avenir en grand" . Medias24 (in French). Virgin Megastore will open fourth store in the Fez Borj Mall in Fez in May. * ^ Mekouar, Hamza (13 August 2015). "Virgin Megastore ouvre son cinquième magasin au Maroc" . Huffington Post Morocco
Morocco
(in French). * ^ Zaid, Salma (17 September 2015). "Virgin Megastore ouvre son 2e magasin à Casablanca" . Illionweb (in French). * ^ Zejly, Btissam (29 August 2016). "Virgin Megastore Maroc ouvre son sixième magasin à Sidi Maârouf" . TelQuel (in French). * ^ "Virgin Megastore". Antar Group. * ^ Simkin, Jacob (12 March 2015). "Aleppo: a Syrian nightmare – in pictures". The Guardian
The Guardian
. * ^ Taylor, Alan (20 November 2014). "Living in War-Torn Syria". The Atlantic
The Atlantic
. * ^ A B Beveridge, Dirk (16 November 1992). "Virgin, Blockbuster enter Megastore partnership". AP News
AP News
. Retrieved 17 February 2013. * ^ Ault, Susanne (27 December 2007). "Virgin Megastore on Sunset Strip to close". Video Business. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 29 May 2008. * ^ Christman, Ed. (16 March 2009). "All U.S. Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
To Close By June". Billboard . Retrieved 16 March 2009. * ^ "Virgin Megastore at Downtown Disney To Close May 31". Netcot.com. 2 March 2009. * ^ Quinn, James (16 March 2009). " Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in US to close: Two decades after first taking the US music scene by storm, America’s six remaining Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
will close their doors for the final time this summer.". Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph
. * ^ Kreps, Daniel (2 March 2009). "All Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Set to Close As Last Big National Music
Music
Chain Folds". Rolling Stone . * ^ McGeehan, Patrick (14 January 2009). "Virgin Megastore in Times Square to Be Replaced by Forever 21". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2009. * ^ Christman, Ed (26 February 2009). "Two Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
to close". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 February 2009. * ^ "All Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in U.S. to close". The Hollywood Reporter . 3 March 2009. * ^ Kavoussi, Bonnie (13 July 2009). "Union Square Virgin Megastore Space Trades for $4.81 M. (Updated)". The New York Observer . Retrieved 23 September 2012. * ^ "Virgin Megastore". Virgin. Archived from the original on 2013-06-01. Note: airport locations were removed by the time this web snapshot was taken * ^ Bey, Lee (11 July 2013). "JFK airport\'s futuristic Pan Am terminal meets demolition: Jet Age building razed for aircraft parking". New York Times
New York Times
. * ^ " Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Continue Commitment to Music
Music
Retail
Retail
by Unveiling New Customer Loyalty Program" (Press release). PRNewswire. 11 October 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 26 May 2008 – via Access My Library. * ^ Peters, Kurt (25 June 2002). "Amazon brings Virgin Megastores into its web operations sphere". Internet Retailer. Retrieved 14 January 2009. * ^ Ault, Susanne (19 November 2008). "Virgin opens shop online". Video Business. Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 14 January 2009 – via Access My Library. * ^ " HMV
HMV
to open Canada’s largest dedicated music, DVD
DVD
store". HMV
HMV
Group. 28 June 2005. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2008. * ^ "Virgin Closes Sole Canadian Store as HMV
HMV
Expands". CIRPA. 25 July 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 26 May 2008. * ^ Hansen, Darah (2011-11-04). " Music
Music
retailer HMV
HMV
to close stores in January: High rent, rise of Internet sales blamed for store closures in Vancouver, Richmond". The Vancouver
Vancouver
Sun . Retrieved 2011-12-08. * ^ Procter, Don (11 March 2008). "After 12 years of delays and setbacks, Toronto Life Square prepares to open its doors". Daily Commercial News. Retrieved 20 June 2008. * ^ " Blockbuster Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 17 February 2013. * ^ A B Lawson, Annie (16 April 2002). "Virgin plays to youth in rebirth of music Megastores". The Age
The Age
. Retrieved 23 September 2012. * ^ A B Wood, Leonie (28 July 2004). "Brazin to call tune in Myer stores". The Sydney
Sydney
Morning Herald . Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ A B Wiland, Eva (29 July 2004). "Myer, Brazin in Virgin Entertainment deal". MuzInk.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ "BBC News: Virgin sheds Our Price stores". BBC News
BBC News
. 18 October 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ Colquhoun, Lachlan (2 October 2001). " Our Price sold for sake of Sanity". This is Money. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ "Brazin Limited Media Release: Brazin Announces NPAT of $10.5 Million (−12%) But EBIT From Continuing Operations Increased To $29.3 Million (+37%) For The Year Ended 26 June 2005" (PDF) (Press release). Commsec . 23 August 2005. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ Lipsith, Gavin (22 December 2005). "HDS expands Virgin in Australia". DFNI Online. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ "HDS Retail
Retail
Asia Pacific: Media Release (21 December 2006)" (PDF) (Press release). Lagardère Group . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ Hopkins, Philip (2 November 2011). "Next stop, a bit of retail therapy". The Age
The Age
. Retrieved 11 September 2012. * ^ Cummins, Carolyn (30 May 2011). " Myer
Myer
to drop music for fashion". Brisbane Times
Brisbane Times
. Retrieved 11 June 2012. * ^ "Virginmega.co.jp Powered By Amazon.co.jp Launched On September 19". Internet Retailer. 19 September 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 14 January 2009. * ^ " Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
Japan Changes Hands: Marui selling to Tsutaya chain operator". Billboard . 1 April 2005. * ^ " Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
in Japan to become Tsutaya stores". Trading Markets. 11 November 2008. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2009. * ^ Preciphs, Joi (17 November 2008). "Culture Convenience Club to Rebrand Virgin Stores, Nikkei Says". Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
. * ^ Ng, Melody (30 November 2007). "HDS Retail
Retail
Asia Pacific makes Virgin foray into China". The Moodie Report. Retrieved 17 June 2012. * ^ "Connections Newsletter: A New Name, The Same Commitment (July 2008)" (PDF). Lagardère Group . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-09-18. Retrieved 17 June 2012.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikimedia Commons has media related to VIRGIN MEGASTORE .

* Virgin Megastores
Virgin Megastores
(International