Virgin's Stores Go Way of Dodo

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2009 9:57 AM CST
Virgin's Stores Go Way of Dodo
Pedestrians walk by the Virgin Megastore Tuesday, March 3, 2009 in the Union Square neighborhood of New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

America's last six Virgin Megastores will close their doors by this summer, the AP reports, even though they’ve managed to remain profitable amidst the economic storm. The real estate firms that bought the chain in 2007 determined they could collect more rent from new tenants. “I’ve been pushing back a little bit on the notion that this is just another casualty of the music industry,” said Virgin Entertainment CEO Simon Wright.

The writing was on the wall when Virgin recently decided to close its flagship Times Square store, which made supporting the rest of the chain untenable, Wright said. “Our six best stores from a retail point of view are also our six best stores from a real estate point of view," he added. About 1,000 staff and 60 at the corporate level will be laid off. Loyal shoppers can still visit the 150 Virgin Megastores operating throughout the rest of the world. (More Virgin stories.)

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