It's four decades since Richard Branson set up the mail-order business that became a hippie haven, a punk paradise, and then a big-money label. Pierre Perrone tracks the story. It was nearly called Slipped Disc until Tessa Watts, a member of the team Richard Branson had assembled around him at Student magazine, pointed out they were all "complete virgins at business.
Sir Richard Branson yesterday severed his last remaining link with the high street, offloading his Virgin Megastore chain at a time when record shops are under unprecedented pressure from the internet and supermarkets. The sale of stores throughout the UK and Ireland to a management buyout group for an undisclosed sum marks a final retreat from the music industry after more than 35 years. After setting the company up as a mail order business inSir Richard opened the first Megastore in Oxford Street, London, the following year and founded the Virgin record label inselling millions of vinyl copies of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.
Outside of the traditional major labels, Virgin is probably the one record company the person in the street will be aware of. And that is, of course, due to the charisma of its founder, Richard Branson. No matter how many years have passed since he tended the day-to-day, or the fact that a team of people, most notably Simon Draper and Nik Powell, ran the enterprise for him, the label is often associated solely with the adventures of Branson.
Virgin Megastores was a retail chain that operated in the United Kingdom from to The company was established by Richard Bransonoriginally as a small record shop, and became a national chain. Inthe company was sold to management, and was rebranded as Zavvi. Zavvi entered administration in and subsequently closed.
My obsession with vinyl began, aged 13, inwhen I was waiting for a bus home from my granny's house and strayed into the decidedly uncool John Menzies in Bath bus station. I purchased my first LP, a budget offering of Gene Vincent's greatest hits, and my life changed forever. Rock'n'roll became my religion and I worshipped every Saturday morning at Tony's Records, Bristol's finest and much-missed independent record shop.
Capitol Music Group U. Today, the operations of Virgin Records America, Inc. Branson and Powell had initially run a small record shop called Virgin Records and Tapes on Notting Hill GateLondon, specialising particularly in " krautrock " imports, and offering bean bags and free vegetarian food for the benefit of customers listening to the music on offer.
Where would we be without record shops? As portals to a sonic universe, they have introduced us to the soundtracks of our lives, the specialist knowledge of proprietors yielding scrolls of wax that illuminate hidden aspects of the world we inhabit. As gateways to the vestiges of shared musical experience, they have brokered countless lasting friendships and a fair few marriages too.
Virgin Megastores is an international entertainment retailing chain, founded in early by Sir Richard Branson as a record shop on London 's Oxford Street. Bycurrent operations are exclusively in the Middle East and in North Africa, consisting of approximately 40 stores. Richard Branson and Nik Powell had initially run a small record shop called Virgin Records and Tapes on Notting Hill GateLondonspecialising particularly in " krautrock " imports, and offering bean bags and free vegetarian food for the benefit of customers listening to the music on offer. The name Virginaccording to Branson in his autobiographyarose from a colleague of his when they were brainstorming business ideas.
Photo sent in by Phil. I remember the shop in Corporation Street…amazing. I remember the shop in Corporation Street as well.