Best Record Store That Doesn't Sell Records (2001)

Virgin Megastore

A friend dragged us to the new Virgin Megastore, which opened in September. In the parking lot, we boldly declared to everyone within earshot that we'd never buy a CD in that unholy place. No, sir. We were far too cool to shop for our Sleater-Kinney in a theme park. Down with The Man. And so on. Then we stepped through the glass doors and beheld the promised land. The Virgin store consists of 25,000 square feet of aisle upon aisle overflowing with reasonably priced digital milk and honey. CDs and DVDs and video games as far as the eye can see (not really, but we're on a roll). On a busy weekend, perhaps 20 Virgin helpers are at your disposal. Yes, they wear too-baggy pants. But they will find what you're looking for and do it with good cheer. And you can try it before you buy it. There are so many listening stations at Virgin that when asked, employees underestimated the number by half. While an exact figure was difficult to determine even after a phone call to a manager, we can safely say there are more than 100 listening stations, some of them called Megaplay Stations, which allow you to grab most any CD or DVD off the shelf, scan its bar code and listen to or view it. Does our purple prose make us uncool? No matter. We will gladly forfeit our coolness for such hyperstupendous megaselection.

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