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Video Games Help Virgin Megastore "Defy Market Gravity," Turn Profit

April 7, 2008 12:34 PM ET

Virgin Megastores had what they describe as "one of the most successful years" the chain has ever had in 2007 by turning away from albums and focusing on other product. The store "defied market gravity" by transforming into a "lifestyle entertainment shopping destination," as sales of video games, DVDs, clothing and books all enjoyed increased sales over the preceding years while music continued to slump. Even the two Virgin Megastores in New York City — which are reportedly on the verge of shuttering in 2009 — posted combined increased sales of ten percent. "For the first time in five years our store traffic is up over plan," said Virgin Entertainment North America CEO Simon Wright. So it appears brick-and-mortar music stores may live on — just with a lot less music.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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