Friday, June 29, 2007

Virgin tried to save Fopp

There had been some last-minute attempts to save Fopp from closure, the most notable of which was a proposed merger with Virgin Megastores. The deal fell through because the figures "didn't add up" and Fopp's suppliers weren't keen to embrace dealing with a Virgin-Fopp force.

Of course, Virgin's track record of running a smaller chain, one more enthusiastic about retailing music, alongside its main business isn't great - Our Price went from cool-for-a-chain, to couldn't-care-less, before turning into V-Shops and disappearing completely.

Even more surprisingly, Virgin had also had talks about a link-up with fellow struggling high street musical chain HMV.

Fopp issued a statement marking their closure:

"It is with great regret that we announce the closure of Fopp. Our store chain is profitable, well regarded and loved by our loyal customers and staff.

"However we have failed to gain the necessary support from major stakeholders, suppliers and their credit insurers to generate sufficient working capital to run our expanding business."


Anonymous said...

Crumbs, I'd almost forgotten about Our Price. They were great! Loads cheaper than any other chain (as a student, I spent every Monday afternoon joyously buying the best new-release singles for £1.99 each - Join the Singles Club and every sixth one was free). Then V Shop turned up and destroyed it.

Overnight, music was shunted into a dark corner of the shop to make room for mobile phones and console games. It was horrible. Where I live now, the only record shop was Our Price. Now if you want music, you're stuck with either WH Smiths (great for those hard-to-find Best-of-Procol-Harem albums) or Woolworths (with their cardboard Top 20 Singles chart which seems to be based on which CDs they've run out of each week).

Anonymous said...

Having spoken to the company cashier last week, I was personally amused to hear that Virgin Megastores are now committed to not folding, as Dickie has deemed that it would be too embarrassing for him to do so. Of course, how long this remains their plan is anyone's guess.

Having worked for them for over 7 years, I've got to say that it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Anonymous said...

Life in Reading just got a little bit harder. I turned up at FOPP at 11 am yesterday not having heard anything about the demise, with the intention of getting some bargain books, maybe try to find some Go-Betweens reissues. But it was shut. A lonely letter lay behind the door. I walked around Primark disconsolate. HMV and Virgin beckoned. Virgin in Reading used to have a room upstairs devoted to classical music. That went last year. I've been in once since they redecorated. It's crap, obviously.

James, Virgin ripped the heart of Our Price in both St Helens and Barnet, where I used to live.

Regarding poor old FOPP, I think the real victims are less 30 something sad FOPP-ites like me but the staff, who seem to have been treated very shoddily.

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