17 – 23 January 2001

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Virgin Megastores Malta to close its doors

By David Lindsay

A large gap in the music retail trade will be created shortly, with the pending closure of Malta's Virgin Megastores, as rumours that the music retailer will close its doors to business in the near future were yesterday confirmed by The Business Times.

Virgin Malta, a subsidiary of Mizzinvest Limited, will cease Virgin's Maltese operations within three to six months in both its outlets – in Republic Street, Valletta and at The Plaza, Sliema.

While the news is bound to raise a good deal of speculation over the determining factors in the franchise's closing, the chain's staff were told late last week that Virgin would cease operations as a result of an overseas deal with fellow UK retailer, Our Price.

Attempts to obtain comments from both the management of Mizzinvest and Virgin Megastores, however, proved fruitless yesterday.

Meanwhile, one official explained that Virgin will be releasing an explanatory press release in the coming days, while another explained that the only information in hand to that effect was that the stores are currently holding a sale – one that is believed might just last until the stores close for good. In fact, one Virgin employee commented that there would be no further Virgin consignments to Malta.

While Virgin reported recently that CD prices had risen by some two per cent over last year, few doubt that a slump in CD sales as a result of music piracy may have held some weight in the decision.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt