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Thursday, February 26, 2009

San Francisco Too Rough for Virgin -- Megastore to Pull Out

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 8:59 AM

click to enlarge Will the last Virgin please turn out the neon lights? - PARGON
  • Pargon
  • Will the last Virgin please turn out the neon lights?
The days when you could feed your family hawking 45 rpm singles for 69 cents a pop are gone -- and, accordingly, so is another major San Francisco retailer. The Virgin companies seem to make everything from soda to syrupy pop music to SFO-to-LAX flights -- but they can't make money selling music. Officials announced yesterday that they will shutter the massive San Francisco Virgin Megastore on Market and Stockton by late April, leaving a major cavity in Downtown's retail smile -- a smile that is looking more and more like Leon Spinks'. The store will also close up shop in New York City.

The recession may be the cannon-shot that did away with an already troubled store and industry. It's no secret that CD sales have plummeted as consumers -- particularly younger consumers -- obtain music over the Internet without ever having to leave the comforts of home. Antiquated forms of news and entertainment -- local movie theaters, record stores, newspapers -- are going the way of lamplighters and steam trains.

Perhaps, however, the last laugh will be on the iPod-wearing downloaders with their ubiquitous white headphones. Those 69-cent 45 rpm singles never induced anyone to wander headlong into traffic.

Photo   |   Pargon

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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