Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The last American Virgins to close

You probably saw the news last Friday that the two Virgin Megastores in New York (Union Square, Times Square) will close in the coming months. (It was previously reported that just the Times Square location would shut.) Then late yesterday, Billboard reported that all of the remaining Virgin stores in the United States were being shuttered.

This has certainly been discussed somewhere...but! Are there any chain record stores left in NYC? I've lost track. The F.Y.E. on Sixth Avenue near Radio City is long gone, right? And I don't count those combo chains like Best Buy or Barnes & Noble that may sell music...or locals like J&R.

Anyway, I'm no fan of Virgin or any national chains...And Alex expressed exactly how I feel about all this in a post from this past January:

I don't honestly believe the Virgin Megastore is all that great. Sure, it's convenient, but it's ultimately just an arguably soulless chain store that caters to the lo.com.denom-addicted masses. That said, it's yet another place to buy music that is vanishing, and I find that rather sad.

So maybe this is a little good news for the remaining indie record shops around town? Otherwise, like everything else, it's a bad time for music...including Mondo Kim's, Etherea (a new record shop at this spot is in the works with a different vibe)...Strider Records maybe... Vinyl specialist Malachi Records quietly closed after just six months. They were in a rather obscure second-floor location at Fulton and Nassau in the Financial District....What else am I missing? Oh, and not to forget what's happening to Music Row.

In case you haven't seen Ben Sisario's "The death and life of great Manhattan record stores" piece from last April.


Ken Mac said...

J&R isn't great, but it's all that's left and at least they have a good jazz department and new releases to browse. I am planning a vinyl record store post....

Anonymous said...

Not sad at all. Why anyone would ever go to a full-retail mainstream music store is beyond me. I'm kind of shocked that they still exist at all.

A CD (a new one, at least) is the absolute epitome of a product that should only ever be sold online.