B&H Photo Video

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"B&H" redirects here. For other uses, see B&H (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 40°45′11″N 73°59′47″W / 40.753124°N 73.996281°W / 40.753124; -73.996281

B&H Photo & Electronics Corp.
Type Retail
Industry Retail
Founded 1973 New York, New York
Headquarters New York City (Manhattan)
Number of locations 1
Products Cameras, video, film, audio, computers, electronics
Website bhphotovideo.com

B&H Photo Video, founded in 1973 and located at 420 Ninth Avenue on the corner of West 34th Street in Manhattan, New York City, is the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States.[1]

Overview[edit]

B&H Photo Video on 34th Street

The store is patronized by professional photographers and videographers, serving over 5,000 customers per day, while a greater amount of the company's business comes from its internet operation and corporate sales. It also runs a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[1] On its website, B&H claims to be the "world's leading retailer of imaging products". The store carries a wide range of products across the electronics spectrum, with emphasis on professional and specialty photographic equipment.

The business is owned by Herman Schreiber. Schreiber and many of the store's employees are observant Satmar Hasidic Jews who close the store on Shabbat and Jewish holidays except for Hanukkah (Jewish law does not prohibit work during that holiday, except during Shabbat itself). The Web site remains open, but orders are not taken or shipped between Friday evening and Saturday evening and on Jewish holidays.[2][3] Surpassed only by the Diamond District in terms of Orthodox employment, the company is a vital part of the community's financial health, with hundreds of Orthodox Jews on staff. An Orthodox Jewish bus company provides daily service to and from Kiryas Joel, a Satmar village in Orange County, New York.[4][5]

In 2007, Google announced that they added B&H as a merchant accepting Google Checkout. When discussing their third-quarter financial results on an October 18, 2007 conference call, Sergey Brin, president and co-founder of Google, said that B&H is his favorite camera store.[6]

The store is also somewhat known for its extensive conveyor belt system that runs along the ceiling [7]

History[edit]

B&H opened as a storefront film shop on Warren street, in the area known as Tribeca, run by Herman Schreiber and his wife, Blimie (the store's name comes from their initials). The store quickly outgrew its space. B&H moved to a large loft on West 17th Street in the Photo District in the 1970s. Catering to the needs of neighborhood artists, B&H expanded to selling film equipment as well as photo products. In 1997, the store moved to its present location. It now has a staff of over 1,500 employees.[8] B&H's flagship store is located in West Midtown Manhattan (also known as "Hell's Kitchen") at 420 Ninth Avenue (at the intersection with 34th Street). On Tuesday October 30, 2007, B&H opened a second floor above its original sales floor making a total of 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2) of sales space. The first floor encompasses professional lighting, binoculars and scopes, video, audio, darkroom, film and both home and portable entertainment; the second floor focuses on both conventional as well as digital photography, computers, printers, scanners and related accessories.[1][not in citation given]

Lawsuits[edit]

In October 2007, it was announced that B&H Photo agreed to pay US$4.3 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against Hispanic workers.[9]

The store during a blizzard

In November 2009, a lawsuit against B&H Photo alleged that the store refused to hire women, in violation of New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws.[10] The lawsuit, brought by four women, sought class action status on behalf of all women discriminated against by B&H over the course of many years.[11] Given B&H's prior alleged discriminatory practices,[9] the lawsuit sought US$19 million in compensatory and punitive damages in order to deter future discriminatory practices.[12]

In 2011, another lawsuit alleged discrimination against workers.[13][14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Goldman, Adam (2005-12-12). "New York camera shop combines 18th-century Jewish traditions and the hottest digital technology". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. 
  2. ^ "B&H Photo Video". Archived from the original on 11 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-11. "Please note that B&H does not process Web orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening." 
  3. ^ "B&H order processing schedule". Retrieved 2010-05-11. 
  4. ^ Santos, Fernanda (2006-08-27). "Reverberations of a Baby Boom". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Dwyer, Jim (2011-07-14). "Sheltered Hasidic Community Stunned by Kletzky Killing". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Google Q3 2007 Earnings Call Transcript". 2007-10-18. 
  7. ^ http://www.doobybrain.com/2012/01/27/a-ride-on-the-bh-conveyor-belt-system
  8. ^ Karni, Annie (2007-02-05). "B & H Photo Emerges as a N.Y. Institution". The New York Sun. 
  9. ^ a b "EEOC and B & H Reach $4.3 Million Settlement in National Origin Discrimination Case". EEOC. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Gadget Retailer Faces Discrimination Suit". NY1. 2009-11-19. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  11. ^ "B&H Photo Sued For Talmudic Discrimination Against Women". Village Voice. 2009-11-19. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  12. ^ Eligon, John (2009-11-18). "It Was Some Day in Court For Ampersand". New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  13. ^ Del Signore, John. "B&H Photo Sued Again For Discriminating Against Employees". gothamist. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Ross, Barbara. "B and H Photo discriminated against us, say 2 Hispanic employees in lawsuit". Daily News. New York Daily News. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 

External links[edit]