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VIRGIN RETAIL GROUP OPENS ORANGE COUNTY U.S. VIRGIN MEGASTORE

 Nov. 26 Grand Opening Celebration at Triangle Square
 in Costa Mesa Kicks Off Holiday Shopping Season
 LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The second U.S. Virgin Megastore opened its doors in Orange County today by hosting a grand opening "Rockin' California Holiday Beach Party" celebration. Similar in style to the original Virgin Megastore on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, the Costa Mesa store is located at Triangle Square, at the confluence of Harbor Boulevard, Newport Boulevard, 19th Street, and the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway. Opening celebration festivities included: Virgin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Branson's spectacular "from the sky" arrival -- via helicopter and surfboard -- by the stunt team responsible for the aerial work in "Die Hard," "Predator," the "Lethal Weapon" series, and numerous other motion picture and television series; MTV's contestant search for its new game show "Trashed"; promotional support from KROQ's own Bean morning personality; a variety of live music bands; VIP catering courtesy of Planet Hollywood; a "California-style" Santa in a sand box flanked by palm trees; hot tubbing; give-a-ways and contests throughout the day for Virgin Megastore clothing and Virgin Atlantic Airways tickets.
 "Entertainment and lifestyle choices are synonymous with the Southern California experience, and the Virgin experience is a natural fit," said Branson, Virgin chairman. "With the new Triangle Square store joining our Sunset Boulevard store we're excited about being a more integral part of the California landscape. It is this `California Style' which we hope all future Megastores will embody," added Branson.
 The Virgin Megastore at Triangle Square represents the inaugural effort of a joint venture between The Virgin Retail Group, the international music and home entertainment chain formed by maverick entrepreneur and adventurer Branson, and family entertainment giant Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. Under the agreement an estimated 50 retail outlets will open throughout the United States over the next five years.
 Touting the tag line "See it, feel it, hear it," the Megastore promises a menu of unparalleled entertainment features throughout 30,000 square feet of innovative retail space, including more than 150,000 music titles; an unmatched selection of laser discs and video products; computer games software; clothing; 100 listening music posts, video viewing stations and in-store disc jockey; Virgin Atlantic Airways ticket counter; and will feature a full virtual reality entertainment center.
 Virgin Retail's extension into the American marketplace follows the successful U.S. launch of Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 and the world- famous Virgin Records, featuring such artists as Janet Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, and Genesis, among others. The company's entry into the retail arena began with the opening of the first Megastore in London in 1970. Since then, Virgin Retail Group has grown to comprise more than 60 outlets in 12 countries, making it the largest international home entertainment retailer in the world. In June 1992, founder Branson sold Virgin Records for more than $1 billion, with the intent of concentrating on the worldwide expansion of Virgin's travel interests, the Virgin Megastore chain, and other related interests, including computer software and publishing.
 -0- 11/26/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For further information regarding Richard Branson, contact Lori Levin at 212-206-0798./
 /CONTACT: Brian Regan or Toni Miller, Hill & Knowlton, 213-954-5800/


CO: The Virgin Retail Group ST: California IN: REA ENT SU: PDT

JL-LS -- LA003 -- 7948 11/26/93 12:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 1993
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