Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The demise of Virgin Megastore

Another of my favorite record stores bites the dust as Virgin Megastore in the Ontario Mills mall closes its doors this week. It was always the first place I browsed at the shopping center. Apparently one SoCal location still remains in L.A. and Orange counties - for now.

I made a few trips during the liquidation sale to buy about 6 CDs. As I was figuring out what the 50% markdowns would be, I couldn't help thinking chains like Virgin and Tower shot themselves in the foot by continuing to sell CDs at such high list prices.

Who in their right mind would pay $18.99 for a new release when they could get it cheaper at a big box retailer like Best Buy, Wal Mart or Target for around $10 week of release and a couple dollars more afterward?

I'm not condoning those three loss leaders' pricing practices because they are part of the reason Tower and Virgin suffered (along with more people downloading MP3s than ever before). But I think Tower and Virgin should have lowered their prices to compete.

I bet FYE (formerly The Wherehouse) will succumb this year.

Thankfully, we still have Amoeba Music in Hollywood. They'd be wise to lower list prices in the future.

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