The evolution of Virgin Megastore: Celebrating 20 years in the UAE

Richard Branson with Virgin Megastore employees
Virgin Megastores / Reed Ghounaim
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
21 October 2021

Back in 1976, Richard Branson set out to revolutionise retail with the very first Virgin Records shop on Oxford Street. Now, 45 years later Virgin Megastore is continuing that mission in the UAE.

Virgin Megastore first opened in the UAE in 2001 and is now celebrating 20 years of giving customers a place where they can do more than shop. With more than 40 stores across the region, Virgin Megastore has put customer experience at the heart of what it does.

Richard Branson meets employees from Virgin Megastore
Image from Reed Ghounaim / Virgin Megastores

The first record shop that Virgin opened was a place where people could meet and listen to records together – it wasn’t somewhere they were encouraged to dash in, buy a record and then leave. And Virgin Megastore has adopted a similar outlook for its stores.

In fact, the average customer spends 45 minutes in store – and some spend far longer. But why is this?

Virgin Megastore has reimagined the retail experience. Rather than having shelves of books or games, it places themed items together so customers know exactly what they’ll find in each section of the store.

Big red slide at Virgin Megastore Yas Mall
Virgin Megastore

In some stores, Virgin Megastore takes the idea of experience even further. When the Yas Mall store in Abu Dhabi opened in 2014, the brand considered it a ‘coming out party’. The store was the first of its kind, with places for customers to cook, stations for them to customise their shoes, a stage to perform a song, a DJ booth that customers can use and even a big red slide to make coming back down from the top floor more fun.

But Virgin Megastore isn’t just about creating an incredible in-store experience for customers. It wants customers to love shopping there. That’s why Virgin Megastores empowers its employees to help customers however they see fit – accepting returns outside of the return window, switching a product if a customer is not happy, and even making decisions about what products the store should sell.

Virgin Megastore
Virgin Megastore

Celebrating 20 years of serious fun

For its 20th birthday, Virgin Megastore is making sure that its customers can celebrate in style.

First, keep your eyes peeled for The Twenty Plenty Ride – a Virgin Megastore branded car that will be driving around the UAE. If you spot it, you could be the lucky winner of some seriously cool goodies that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. To find out where the car will be, follow Virgin Megastore on Instagram (@virginmegastoreme) for the daily clue. You’ll have to hurry as Virgin Megastore will only be handing out 100 prizes each day. This competition is running until 30 October though so keep looking out for that car.

Virgin Megastore’s annual tech fest is on at the moment too, offering some great promotions, discounts and bundles. And there are some incredible prizes to win too, from top brands including Bose, Razer, Beats and Dell. Make sure you’re a Virgin Megastore Circle Loyalty member to be in with a chance of winning.

And if that’s not enough, customers who shop at The Dubai Mall store today (21 October) could walk away with their shopping for absolutely nothing – plus an AED 1,000 voucher to spend on whatever they like. Throughout the day The Big Red Siren buzzer will be going off – and if you’re lucky enough to be shopping at that time you could win some seriously cool prizes.

Visit Virgin Megastore to find out more – or pop into The Dubai Mall store today for your chance to win.