The only thing I walked out with was a free Village Voice, the free East Coast Rocker, and a list of things I'll consider buying when the discounts are way better than 20% off.
The problem with Virgin to me has always been their shitty prices. As one of the last people on Earth that still actually buys CDs, I am constantly discouraged when scouring their racks. Typically, their discs are priced at $18.99, which is absolute bullshit. Oh, you want the Melvins' noise album? Fuck you, pay me. You're missing Let It Be from your Beatles' collection? Fuck you, pay me. I started shopping exclusively from their cheapo bins that popped up in the past couple years. Cheapo at $10 isn't really cheapo though when most of the stuff in the bins are discs that everyone in the world already had or didn't want. And 20% off of their regular stock is still way too much.
Occasionally, I'll find a deal on a greatest hits package and pick it up from Virgin, but for the most part, the only CDs I buy are used (Ebay or Generation Records) or older catalog items from Amazon. If something brand new is coming out I'll buy it from the artists' websites directly. Maybe I'll end up paying 18.99 anyway after shipping, but chances are, I'm getting a free t-shirts or bonus DVD along with it. Because of the price of CDs, I rarely take a chance on discovering something new. Unless it's in the $1 rack at Tunes in Hoboken, I'm no longer willing to dig. No matter how clever the name of the band is, or how cool the artwork is, or if a friend recommended them, I just can't take part in the romanticized view of the cool record store anymore.
At $18.99, I said Fuck You back and signed up for Emusic instead. $15 a month and I could take chances again. Even if I'm now saddled with some bum mp3s (bump3s?) that I'll rarely listen to, I still have discovered a million awesome bands that I never would have found at Virgin Smegmastore. I certainly never felt ripped off because of prices. I'm at a point now where I've actually put a hold on my Emusic account because I've found too much music and need to take a breather. This isn't an Emusic commercial though. The service isn't perfect. The catalog is nearly 100% independent so whenever I have a taste for something major, I go back to physical CDs. And I'll keep buying CDs as long as I'm getting value for my money. I don't care if I have to take an extra step to rip a disc before jamming it onto my mp3 player. I try to be efficient, but sometimes my cheapness defeats it.
Maybe I'm just being my usual anti-corporate self, but I tend to think that corporate greed is what's killing CDs and Record Stores, not consumers. I don't think I'm demanding much. Why would anyone pay 20% off of a $430 Sopranos Complete Series Box Set at Virgin when it's already only $329 on Amazon? I had no intention of buying that, but it's indicative of most of the "deals" in the store. I'll admit I did find a couple things that I considered purchasing right then and there--Prince's Batman Soundtrack at $7.99 and The Naked Gun at $9.99 (-20% on both)--but ultimately, I don't need either that badly and I'm positive I can find them both cheaper. Here's a sorry looking list I made on my phone of items that I sort of want (feel free to mock my taste), but they won't get crossed off until I see better prices:
Twin peaks viva bam jackass tim eric batman sound who greatest sarabarellis li e pearl jamnirvana unplug serj pee wee ameribeauty rocky ShiningThe majority of things there are DVDs because it didn't occur to me to start making a list until I got downstairs. There isn't a ton of music I'm looking for right now, and I didn't have the patience to pore through the CD section knowing that the prices sucked. Nothing on my list is a necessity, so there's no urgency for me to spend my money. It's all there for the taking though, Virgin, if the price is right.