J&R Retail Store is Closed for Park Row Redevelopment

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,782
Re: All B&M retailer of electronics, cameras, or music and video at risk

John Sheehy wrote:

photoreddi wrote:

Back in the 1990s they were better stocked and I bought many computers and IBM laptops for myself and my company from them, including more laptops about the time the IBM laptops morphed into Lenovo laptops. Not long after this only the cheapest models were stocked, and the same was true for their camera store, where if you wanted to get decent bags and tripods you'd need to go to Adorama or B&H. But what caused me to choose J&R as a "last resort" store was their incompetent management, letting the salespeople in various departments choose who they wanted to wait on. Too many times they helped 2 or 3 people that arrived after me, where Adorama and B&H implemented a much fairer "first come, first served" system. Getting copies of old invoices is relatively easy from Adorama and B&H lets you search your purchase history and download a PDF copy of the invoice. J&R's method was nightmarish in comparison. I hope that their new store (if it gets that far) is more customer friendly.

I started going to J&R in 1980 when I got a job in Manhattan, when they were records-only, and I was discovering the music from the late '60s and early '70s that I never heard on the radio. I would go first to a place called Bondy's up the block, and buy what I could there, because they were the cheapest, and then I would get what Bondy's didn't have at J&R, which had a huge selection of records, at prices not quite as good as Bondy's, but better than average. Then, in the late '80s, they started to get into computers and electronics, and expanded.

In the early 80's, the store was closed for Jewish holidays and Sabbath, and at some point they were open 7 days a week. We just lost Camulet, and now J&R, leaving very little in the way of well-stocked stores open on Friday afternoon and Saturday, as well as Jewish holidays.

There was another store in that area (Duane St., west of B'way) that advertised a lot on AM radio. IIRC, they mentioned either the WSJ or the NYTimes in their ads. I stopped in once and realized that their stock was extremely limited and I'm surprised to see that they're still around. The only cameras that I could find were cheap P&S models and for portable radios, mostly cheap "Supersonic" brand models and the website is about as bad as I've come across. I guess that street traffic from people that work in Tribeca is what has helped them survive.

I used to occasionally buy music CDs and DVDs from J&R and more recently, old boxed DVD sets, but the selection became spotty about a year or two ago, and one time when I wanted to purchase a few box sets I couldn't get in the store because J&R had gotten a band to appear, there was a long line of kiddies waiting to get in, and regular buyers weren't allowed in their music store until the next day.

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