SOURCE: Virgin Entertainment Group North America

November 14, 2007 09:00 ET

Virgin Megastores Prepare for the Changing Face of Holiday Shopping

The Internet Has Changed Black Friday; Virgin Megastores Prep Their Stores and New Online Site to Meet the Demands of a New Shopping World

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 14, 2007) - Black Friday has long been thought of as the busiest shopping day of the year, but is that still the case? The internet is changing the way consumers shop and Virgin Megastore executives are prepared for that change, both online and in their chain of Megastores. As part of their prep for this year's holiday shopping season, Virgin Megastores are launching their new retail shopping site, www.virginmega.com.

The Virgin Megastore chain has seen a 19% comp sales growth in the past two months and is up over 16% in comp sales, year to date. Virgin Megastore execs attribute this success to their role in paying constant attention to the ever changing marketplace. This exceptional growth whether measured against either the wider retail sector or the entertainment retail sector.

"If people decide to shop in our Megastores or from home on Black Friday we are prepared either way. We are excited to announce that we are launching an online version of our popular Virgin Megastores, which will offer shoppers an easy way to shop for fashion, electronics, DVDs, video games, books, as well as, music," explains Dee Mc Laughlin, VP of Marketing, Virgin Entertainment Group, North America. "We have worked hard on rebranding Virgin Megastores as a lifestyle destination filled with great and unexpected products. Now we will be able to showcase these products online so that the brand offline and online will be consistent."

Black Friday has traditionally been known as the start of the holiday shopping season, and in years past has inspired retailers to stock their shelves, open stores early and offer special sales incentives. Virgin Megastores are doing all kinds of prep and promotion inside their stores to meet their customer's needs.

Meanwhile, execs at Virgin Megastores are happy about a new report from Jupiter Research, which estimates the holiday shopping season will bring in more than $39 billion dollars in e-tail sales this year, "Jupiter Research believes that more than 126 million Americans, 6% more than last year, will buy products online this year, increasing the sales volume by 20% over 2006," states Simon Wright, CEO, Virgin Entertainment Group, North America. "We are confident we're launching the new site at the perfect time."

"Anyone working in retail knows how important the holidays are to their business. We've spent the last several months developing a site that is unique, easy to navigate, and is really loved by our customers," states Mc Laughlin.

For the past several years Amazon has powered Virgin Megastore's retail site. Now Virgin Megastore executives wanted to be able to control and customize the site to their liking so they designed VirginMega.com look and feel in-house with site development by Baker & Taylor. The team is concentrating on developing a site that offers a deep catalog of products and services to compliment their in-store offers at the Megastores. One major feature of the site is the MegaBoutiques page, where products are grouped by theme. Some examples in the MegaBoutiques section is "Guys Rock," "Girls Rock," "Games," and "Punk" Boutiques. Each boutique offers a wide selection of fashion, movies, music, books, and electronic items. The site also offers blogs, streaming video, news feeds and event calendars which post upcoming in-store artist performances and signings. The site will also link up to Virgin's new Social Media Mashup site, www.virginmegamashup.com -- a place where consumers and media can log on to see photos of in-store celebrity events, get executive bios, company information, vote for their favorite artists and even post comments on Mc Laughlin's personal blog.

Hosting and fulfillment will be operated by Baker & Taylor.

"The new VirginMega.com is designed to bring all the fun and excitement of Virgin's in-store experience to online shoppers everywhere," said Richard Willis, Chairman and CEO of Baker & Taylor. "As the world's leading fulfillment partner and wholesale supplier of entertainment and book products, Baker & Taylor is uniquely positioned to help make VirginMega.com the premier online destination for unique and hip music, movies, books, fashion and electronics."

For a complete listing of store locations and to buy items online go to www.virginmega.com.

Contact Information

  • ATTENTION MEDIA:

    To set up B-Roll and Photo Shoots at Virgin Megastores for Black Friday or
    to speak with a Virgin Entertainment Group Executive please contact:
    SJ Communications
    Krysty O'Quinn Ronchetti
    818-881-3889
    Email Contact
    www.sjcommunications.com