The Long “Tail” Behind Virgin’s Downfall

The Virgin Record Store closing in downtown San Francisco

The Virgin Megastore in downtown San Francisco, once one of more than 20 in the US, closed late this summer.

9.30.09 Free stuff rocks. I love free things! Free chocolate, free music, free t-shirts, free whatever-it’s all fun and games… until someone gets hurt. And boy, oh, boy, did someone get hurt when big business figured out what Chris Anderson’s articles, “Free” and “The Long Tail” are about. Due to the exponential jump in online/iTunes purchases and the ever-expanding desire for the new and unique, Virgin Megastores are now closing down. With six stores of the original twenty left in the US, it’s plain to see that the Long Tail has waged its war on the music industry, and those businesses who have not yet divorced geography have lost the battle. Windows that were “once an icon of hipness and high-end music tastes”° are now boasting “40% off! Store closing!” because of the switch from CDs to digital downloads. No doubt, this is just one of many endings to come, thanks to our increasing demand for items in the Long Tail.

° Local article on the SF closure


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