B&H Photo Video
|Founded||1973 New York, New York|
|Headquarters||Manhattan, New York City|
Number of locations
|Products||Cameras, video, film, audio, computers, electronics|
|Slogan||"The Professional's Source"|
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.
Ownership and clientele
The store targets professional photographers and videographers. Although it is visited by more than 5,000 customers every day from Sunday to Friday, most of the company's business comes from the Internet and corporate sales. It also runs a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The store carries a wide range of electronics products, 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, most Jewish holidays (except for Hanukkah, when business dealings are permitted), and Christmas. The website remains open, but orders are not taken or shipped between Friday evening and Saturday evening and on Jewish holidays. The store employs hundreds of Orthodox Jews. An Orthodox Jewish bus company provides daily service to and from Kiryas Joel, a Satmar village in Orange County, New York. as well as Brooklyn & Queens.
B&H opened in 1973 as a storefront film shop at 17 Warren Street in Tribeca, and obtained its name from the initials of owners Blimie Schreiber and her husband, Herman. Later in the 1970s, B&H moved to a large loft at 119 West 17th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the Photo District and began to expand its stock to a wider range of film and photography products. In 1997, the store moved to its present location. It now has more than 1,500 employees.
B&H is located in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, at 420 Ninth Avenue at the intersection with West 34th Street. In 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 sells professional lighting, binoculars, scopes, video, audio, darkroom, film and both home and portable entertainment; the second floor focuses on film and digital photography, computers, printers, scanners and related accessories.
In 2007, B&H began making sales through Google Checkout.
The store is noted for having an extensive conveyor belt system that runs along the ceiling.
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.
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. 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. Given B&H's prior alleged discriminatory practices, the lawsuit sought US$19 million in compensatory and punitive damages in order to deter future discriminatory practices.
In February 2016 the United States Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against B&H alleging that the company had only hired Hispanic men into entry-level jobs in a Brooklyn warehouse and then subjecting them to harassment and unsanitary conditions.
The company hired SiteSpect in 2015, a personalization platform to help them with online shoppers. B&H themselves strive to engage with every (potential) customer and this is why listening to the voice of the customers on the social media networks is important for the company. B&H often host famous photographers on their podcasts, discussing their books and photos. They have a human operator (or employee) maintaining an active presence on:
- Company blogs
In May 2007, Zagat reviewed the two major professional photo equipment suppliers in NYC: Adorama and B&H Photo Video. Regarding B and H, Zagat wrote the store offers "more cameras than the paparazzi at the Oscars", with "cordial" staffers "know their stuff".
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Please note that B&H does not process Web orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
- "B&H order processing schedule". Retrieved 2010-05-11.
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- Ross, Barbara (December 14, 2011). "B and H Photo discriminated against us, say 2 Hispanic employees in lawsuit". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
- McGeehan, Patrick (February 26, 2016). "B&H Electronics Store Sued for Discrimination of Hispanic Workers". The New York Times.
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