Any observer would comment that this is a very late article to write about Virgin Mega store here in Kuwait. Well, this issue has been looming inside my brain for a long time. Ever since Virgin opened up in Marina Mall and after paying dozen of visits down there and seeing how things got bad to the point of being shut down by the evil MOI, I’ve wanted to comment on this place. The last time I paid a visit to the store, it was reduced by 75% of its designated allocation in Marina Mall. Many of the commercial brands that were associated with Virgin pulled out after being financially affected by the evil deed of closure for more than a week by MOI, for fear of losing more money due to Virgin’s goods that seemed too controversial by many. I’ll list some personal points about Virgin and how it slammed it’s own nails in the coffin.
1) DVD pricing was high. A regular 1990s/2000s movie would be priced around 5 to 7.5 KD, regardless of whether the movie was good or not. Another thing was the disorganization of the DVDs on display. Stocks of certain movies were apparent everywhere no matter which section you’re looking at. No self censorship. I’ve seen with my own eyes Sex and the city DVD box sets being placed on display in front of everyone at the cashier counters. I mean, com’n fellas, this show is like rated Adult back in the states, where I used to watch it on HBO. If you wanna sell it, just keep a low profile about it, don’t brag.
2) Same point goes with music CD’s. I was pretty surprised when I’ve seen Marilyn Manson CD’s being sold there along with King Diamond and other Satanic/heavy/black/Gothic metal bands as well. Wal-Mart back in the states didn’t sell Marilyn Manson at all because it’s a family-oriented store, not because they exist in a Muslim country. I mean I really love metal and Hard Rock, but just some music just doesn’t fit, especially we have a whole generation of blind copycats without any kind of identity.
3) While Virgin wanted to show muscles by displaying the above mentioned materials, it pussied out on the books section by filling it’s displays with hundreds of magazines and books which are being sold again at high prices when you compare prices with Amazon or any other global book outlet.
4) The final point is the price of the video game, gaming consoles and accessories. Some fellow blogger posted this image on the net which showed the whole world how a $30 Wii remote or nunchuk goes for 45 KD ($160 !!!) at Virgin. This image drew many people to the secret world of black market of video games in the third world countries and the exploitations of the global franchise.
I’d like to say that with all of what I’ve mentioned, I don’t blame people skipping on Virgin and buying their stuff online where it’s better in price and quality. I had high hopes for Virgin when they opened up. Unfortunately, they sank deep into our local corruption and rode the high tides of making fast cash out of rich and spoiled brats by breaking all the rules.