V-Shops, formerly Virgin Our Price, was formed in 1998, when Sir Richard Branson acquired the 230-store chain of Our Price record stores from WH Smith as part of his £158m purchase of the newsagent’s stake in his Virgin Megastore chain. Since then around 100 of the stores have been converted into V-shops where customers can buy CDs, mobile phones and Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Rail tickets. In 2001 the remaining 130 stores were sold to Australian music and lingerie retailer Brazin for a symbolic £2. In 2001 V-Shops generated sales of £504m, with a total operating loss of £26m, and had 3,897 staff. The operating loss attributable to the retained stores, a measure of profit preferred by the company, was a loss of £14m in 2001.
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