Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Virgin Megastores in Europe - Going, Going, Gone?

Virgin Megastores in Europe - Going, Going, Gone?

Aug 21st, 2009, 10:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Virgin Megastores in Europe - Going, Going, Gone?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/ar...rgin.html?_r=1

NYTimes story about Virgin closing its flagship USA mega store in Manhattan - saying it was the last large-scale record store in NYCity - and one of only two here that Virgin had not closed - with the Hollywood one which will soon close.

I've always liked popping into Virgin Megastores in places like London, Paris and Amsterdamned - kind of a relief from sightseeing and on a hot day an AC place of refuge.

Q - Are Virgin Megastores still open - i know the one on Paris' Champs-Elysees is, or was anyway. And how about FNAC type places - as CDs are not best bought or illegally downloaded on the Internets and books on Amazon.com type placethe bricks and morter record or bookstores are dinosaurs.

Any updates on Virgin Megastores in Europe

I still love wearing my bright red T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Virgin" on it.
Palenque is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
Virgin Megastore is still doing all right in France, but perhaps because it is no longer owned by Virgin, but by Hachette, the publishing giant. Hachette owned its own chain a few years ago, called Extrapole which pretty much copied FNAC (music, books, multimedia) but which also had a big stationery section. Then Richard Branson sold Virgin Megastore France to them, and since Virgin was a better known name, all of the Extrapole stores became Virgin Megastores -- but the original Virgin places began to sell stationery and office supplies as well. Computer equipment and ink cartridges soon crept in.

Although there are rumors that FNAC will finally swallow Virgin Megastore (because they really really want the crown jewel -- the Virgin Megastore on the Champs Elysées), in the meantime FNAC has announced that with the diminished sales of CD's and DVD's, they are going to use the newly freed space to start selling... stationery.

It will take another three or four years to see what the final outcome will be.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:38 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
It should also be mentioned that right from the start, Virgin Megastore in France has always been as much of a bookstore as a record store, because it was the only way to compete with FNAC. FNAC has just one store left that doesn't have a bookstore, and that is its sad little place on the Champs Elysées, which it would love to close if it took over the 4 levels of the Virgin Megastore in the old Citibank building (the big round vault door is still right in the middle of the bookstore downstairs).
kerouac is online now  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:46 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
FNAC - that is a Belgian company, right. Just curious as to what i heard was true? For a longtime i thought it some government entity and not a for profit company. Love FNACs too.
Palenque is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 11:39 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,690
FNAC has never been Belgian. Currently it is part of the Pinault Printemps Redoute conglomerate owned by François Pinault (who also owns Gucci) -- but Printemps was actually sold to the Italian Rinascente group a few years ago.

Pinault is the 34th richest man in the world.

(FNAC was founded by two Marxists in 1954 as a co-op for film and camera equipment -- that's probably where you heard it was a non-profit thing.)
kerouac is online now  
Aug 21st, 2009, 12:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
I don't think the VM in Amsterdam is still there. Not a place I ever really visited, but I think it has gone.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 12:44 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Yup i think the Virgin Plaza megastore was gone on my last visit in 2008 - Magna Plaza or whatever it was in - it was the old main post office and i used to go in and admire the fancy ceilings. Now an Albert Heijn supermarket occupies part of that space though the Magna Plaza (?) i believe is still there.
Palenque is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:03 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Magna Plaza is still there. www.magnaplaza.nl
hetismij is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
DMBTraveler
Europe
7
May 13th, 2010 10:03 AM
lynnejoel1015
Europe
9
Dec 6th, 2006 08:31 AM
travlintoes
Europe
40
Apr 9th, 2006 04:50 PM
jeannine
Europe
16
Jun 21st, 2001 05:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:15 AM.