Virgin's £3m facelift of Tower Records unveiled

Virgin Megastores has finished a£3 million revamp of the former Tower Records flagship on Piccadilly Circus, which it acquired last year.

The refurbishment was due to be completed today and the store will house new Megastores features, including listening posts that enable customers to sample more than 1.5 million tracks. It has also been made more open and easier to shop.

The store's manager, Steve Lyttelton, who also ran the outlet when it was Tower Records, said he wanted to retain its reputation as a destination for music lovers, while attracting new customers. He aims to boost the store's share of chart sales, while also retaining a strong back catalogue.

He said: 'Tower Records always had a community feel and it will be the same with the new Virgin Megastore.'

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson believes music stores will survive in the face of digital downloads. He said: 'Downloading may have spawned a revolution in the way people buy and listen to music, but music is about so much more than just speed and convenience.

'Nothing compares with the pleasure of browsing through hundreds of records and finding a gem. It's not just about the top 40, it's about the thousands of artists who make daring, innovative music, which is only supported by specialist retailers like Virgin Megastores.'

The Piccadilly shop has been overhauled by Paris-based architects Collet & Burger, which has worked on Virgin Megastores in the past on the Champs Elysees and in Dubai and Kuwait.

- See Interiors next week.