Richard Branson says Apple and the internet killed record stores

Virgin tycoon says technology means "nothing is forever"

Richard Branson says Apple and the internet killed record stores

Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

Richard Branson has stated that a combination of Apple and the internet has "killed" high-street record shops.

But the Virgin Group mogul – whose own Virgin Megastores chain was sold in the UK in 2007 to the short-lived Zavvi consortium – admitted that increasing technology made music stores' closure inevitable.

Speaking to French radio station Europe 1, Branson said: "Generally speaking Apple is magnificent, but Apple has killed the music stores, as has the internet." Asked if he directly blamed Apple for record shops' demise, Branson responded: "No, you just have to accept that technology moves on. We had the Virgin stores for 30 years, but nothing is forever, sadly."

The comments come in the week that Apple launched iTunes Radio, which is currently only available in the US.

Branson first found success by launching Virgin Records, which celebrates its 40th anniversary with a series of gigs in November by acts including Jake Bugg, Laura Marling and Chvrches. Branson sold the label to EMI in 1992, and it was subsquently bought by Universal last year.

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