Virgin Megastores announced today that it will close two more of its famed megastores including New York City's Union Square Location at the end of May, and San Francisco's Market Street Location at the end of April.
The store is currently marking the closing of its iconic NYC Times Square store with what it is calling 'the biggest sale in music retail history.'
Since February 19, they will be putting all product on sale at liquidation prices as it begins the process of closing the location. All that remains of the once-formidable 24-store chain will be three locations in Hollywood, Denver and Orlando, for which plans have not yet been announced.
The Times Square Virgin Megastore will close down in April. The space was home to many theatre related events including several recent Broadway show cd signings.
The store has been at the center of closing rumors since August 2007 when the Virgin Entertainment Group North America was acquired by two real estate companies -- the Related Cos. and Vornado -- in a joint venture.
Last June, a Vornado executive told Reuters that the store would shut down in the first quarter of 2009. The decision to close the store appears related to real estate and the value connected to the location. That executive was quoted as saying that Virgin pays only $54 per square-foot when the market rent in the area is about $700 a square foot.
The Times Square location does an estimated $55 million in annual volume, is profitable to the tune of $6 million, according to sources, and the space would be even more profitable for its owner with a higher rent tenant. Vornado bought the 180,000 square foot retail component of the Bertelsmann building, which houses the Times Square store, in 2006, and will lease the space to Century 21, according to various reports.
The closure leaves the Union Square store in New York, which will now be the city's premiere record store, with an estimated $40 million annual volume.