Virgin France music chain declared insolvent

4 Jan 2013

In another sign of music stores struggling to cope with the growth of digital downloads, Virgin France is to declare itself insolvent, with reported debts of €22m (£18m), reports the BBC.

The music store chain, which has 25 outlets in France including a flagship store on the Champs-Elysées in Paris (above), is no longer connected with Richard Branson's Virgin empire, which sold it in 2001. It's currently owned by French investment firm Butler Capital.

Virgin France employs 1000 staff and is to hold a meeting with unions next Monday.

Like HMV in the UK, Virgin France has been hit hard by the move to movie and music downloads and a drop in sales of CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. The rival Fnac chain tried to join the trend by launching its own music download service, but closed it last year after failing to grab sufficient market share.

Other high profile casualties of the downturn in disc sales in the UK include Virgin Megastores, Our Price, Tower Records, Zavvi, MVC, Border's and Woolworths.

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