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Thu 29 May 2008 11:56 AM

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Virgin Megastore CEO extends license

The entertainment retailer has won the right to operate stores in the region for another 13 years with Virgin Stores France.

Virgin Megastore Middle East has renewed its exclusive licensing agreement.

The entertainment retailer has won the right to operate the stores in the region for another 13 years with Virgin Stores France, after an agreement was signed by the CEOs for France and the Middle East.

"We are pleased to continue what we started with Virgin Stores France seven years ago. The unprecedented growth in the region over the years has fuelled our expansion and allowed us to become the number one entertainment outlet in the region," said Nisreen Shocair, president, Virgin Megastore Middle East.

Lifestyle changes have placed increased pressure on entertainment retailing "that goes beyond the product, to deliver an experience within our stores and to expand product offerings beyond music and movies".

"The new agreement will see us opening more stores and expanding into new countries.  We look forward to further enhancing the entertainment excitement for customers throughout the Middle East."

 "The entertainment business in the Middle East is gaining traction with incredible speed. Regional talent in music and film is creating a demanding and sophisticated consumer market that requires constant innovation and so there is a huge opportunity to build and invest in Virgin Megastores here," said Jean Noel Reinhardt, CEO Virgin Stores France.

"The diversity and creativity of the Azadea Group gives it the right mix of leadership, talent and industry knowledge to take the business to the next level. Not only that, but developing the right mix of entertainment content at retail for today, five years from now, and ten years from now."

Azadea Group, the holding company for Virgin Megastore in the Middle East, first licensed the brand from Virgin Stores France in 2001 for a seven-year period. Since then, it has opened up 11 stores across the region, with another three slated to open in 2008. It has also expanded its product offerings beyond entertainment to include consumer electronics and gift merchandise.

Following this agreement, Virgin Megastore Middle East will soon announce plans to open up more stores in the region and offer a line-up of new entertainment services.

Virgin Megastore has recently adopted new approaches towards building the complete entertainment concept, such as its Quiz Night events, allowing customers to compete in teams in a movies and music quiz inside the store.

It has also become the venue of choice for visiting artists to hold their press conferences and public appearances for celebrities including Ragheb Alama, Tiesto, Scorpions, Karl Wolf and Sean Paul.

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