RealTime IT News

Clicks Point to Bricks

Virgin Entertainment Group North America CEO Glen Ward named a new executive team today, charged with uniting the company's online and bricks-and-mortar operations.

Effective in early 2001, customers logging on to the music and DVD/video site Virginmega.com will find a content-driven site "that will demonstrate an expanded ability to drive traffic and cross-channel awareness for Virgin Megastore events and promotions," the company said.

The Virginmega.com site will spotlight recommended releases supported by a phone-based order system and e-mail, the company said, adding that "e-commerce will not be the primary platform during its inception." The site currently is e-commerce oriented with merely a listing of real-world stores.

"This demonstrates Virgin's continual evolution toward a multi-channel offering," said Ward. "There is no doubt that our online entity coupled with our Megastores will make available unique opportunities for a superior entertainment retail experience."

The new management team will consist of Dave Alder, formerly senior vice president and general manager of Virginmega.com, as the new senior vice president, product and merchandising; Andy Jones, chief financial officer; Ravi Ahuja, senior vice president, business development; Kellie Martin, vice president, operations; Dawn Roberts, vice president, marketing; and Anthony Deen, vice president, retail development.

"We are fully committed to maintaining a strong online presence, which affords a valuable means of communicating with our customers," said Alder. "The task now is to ensure we are leveraging the technology and content of our new site throughout the Megastores with in-store and online cross-promotion."

Virgin said it is taking a proactive approach to notifying its customers of the new site direction through e-mails to its customer databases and messaging on the Web site.