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|
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
B&H Photo Video 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 owner, Herman Schreiber, and many of the store's employees are observant Satmar Hasidic Jews. The store is closed on Shabbat, most Jewish holidays (except for Hanukkah, when business dealings are permitted), and Christmas. Although the web site remains open, e-commerce orders are not taken or shipped between Friday evening and Saturday evening, or on Jewish holidays.
The physical 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 and 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 2,000 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 2015, B&H hired SiteSpect, 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 Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and company blogs.
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.
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Please note that B&H does not process Web orders from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
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