Virgin Megastore to expand in the Gulf

The entertainment retailer, Virgin Megastore Middle East, has geared up for an expansion in the Gulf with the proposed extension of four stores by 2015, according to Gulf News.

It is also set to launch its store at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall in November 2014 - a new market for the company - with at least two stores in Qatar.

The retailer currently holds 14 stores, of which six are in the Gulf region and eight in its top market region that accounts for 45 per cent of sales, the UAE - other regions include Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan.


Its Gulf business’ president, Nisreen Shocair, told Gulf news that the company expects its revenue to climb by 15 per cent in 2014.

Virgin Megastore Middle East has reduced the volumes of its CDs and DVDs as its consumers go online to purchase goods. However, the firm has dedicated greater space in stores to vinyl records due to strong demand by consumers, especially among their younger customers.

Shocair said: “Today music and video is 15 per cent of our business,” compared to 60 and 70 per cent back in 2006.

Following its push for an online presence after launching a ticketing site just last month, the company saw 35 per cent of its tickets sell online in the Gulf region, according to Shocair.

On other hand, Virgin Megastore France, owned by private equity firm Butler Capital Partners, faced a loss over the years as consumers turned to downloading music and films via the internet. Following closures of several of its stores and staff cuts in 2012, the company declared itself insolvent last year.

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