Tenorman, The problem for Mole was more Amazon and Tower (ie, online) than HMV and Virgin.
The prices in HMV, Oxford Street, were (I haven't been there for over five years) always top bat. The standard retail markup was, and still is as far as I am aware, 50% on the wholesale price but HMV's markup was well in excess of this although the overheads in Oxford Street were (are) probably horrendous.
On the other hand, it used to annoy me that wholesalers would often offer big stores more discount than to the specialist shops.
The last I heard, and this was a couple of years ago, was that Graham Griffiths and Ed Wilkerson(sp?) of New Note had taken over and Pete Fincham had gone. Has this now changed again?