Farewell, Virgin Megastore


Yesterday was the final day of business for Union Square’s Virgin Megastore, where random in-stores and greatest hits albums you didn’t even know existed provided a convenient meeting place for friends on the way to the movies, or Irving Plaza. The Times quotes a former employee:

    “Unfortunately the large retail music store is a dinosaur,” said Tony Beliech, 39, a former Virgin employee who was lugging around an armful of CDs that he said would cost him no more than $20. “It does matter because it was also a social gathering space, and that’s one thing that buying music online lacks.”

He then apparently went and copped CDs by Melt Banana and Current 93, which were somehow leftover in amongst the Jonas Brothers memorabilia. Anyway, as the Times points out, “Dozens of smaller record stores are still open in New York, and at least 2,000 independent shops exist around the country.” Two of them, the East Village noise emporium Hospital Productions and the venerable Other Music, recently gave us their top 10s, and Other Music employee Mikey Jones happily noted that Tower Records’ demise had only helped the store–“We’re dealing with a clientele we’ve never had before,” he told us last week. “New York, once home to at least three large-scale music chains,” writes the Times, “now has none.” Good riddance.

Retailing Era Closes With Music Megastore [New York Times]