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Entertainment retailer Virgin to declare insolvency

French retailer Virgin, which operates 25 stores in France, is declaring insolvency, a company spokesman said Friday. Virgin has seen plummeting CD and DVD sales due to an increase in the digital transfer of music and films.

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Entertainment retailer Virgin, which employs 1,000 workers and 25 stores across France, will declare insolvency, a spokesman said on Friday.

The company has organised a meeting for Monday to announce the insolvency officially.

Virgin, which is controlled by French investment firm Butler Capital Partners, has had difficulties keeping up CD and DVD sales as downloading music and films has become increasingly common.

The lease on the biggest Virgin store in France, on Paris’s famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées, is in the process of being terminated. According to French financial daily Les Echos, a Qatari investment group has put down an offer on the building, prompting a strike by the store’s employees last weekend.

The Champs-Elysées location brings in 20 percent of the group’s sales in France.

Butler purchased 80 percent of Virgin in 2007 from French mass media company Lagardère, which itself had bought Virgin France from Britain's Virgin Group in 2001.

Many music chains have struggled to stay afloat amid the downloading trend, as well as the increase in sales of CDs and DVDs by supermarket chains.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

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