Virgin Megastores to Shutter3 Mar, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Entertainment retail took another hit March 3 when Virgin Megastores, the high-profile music-centric packaged media retail chain founded by billionaire Richard Branson, announced it will shutter its North American stores by this summer.
Vornado Realty Trust and Related Cos., the consortium that owns the chain and operates the high profile Manhattan stores in Time Square and Union Station, said it could make more money leasing out the locations to third parties than running them, according to a spokeswoman with the chain.
“Actually, Virgin Megastores has remained quite profitable,” she said.
With a peak of 23 stores, Virgin Megastores has dwindled to five locations as consumers increasingly purchase and download music online and DVDs and electronics at big box stores.
Other store locations include Los Angeles, Denver and Orlando, Fla.
The company had previously announced it would shutter the Times Square and Union Station stores, which CEO Simon Wright told the Wall Street Journal the chain couldn't survive without.