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Fate Reopened as "J&R Express"
Founded 1971
Defunct 2014
Headquarters New York City, New York
Number of locations
Products Retail - Electronics
Slogan Downtown NYC Since 1971
Website JR.com

J&R is an online electronics and music retailer, based in New York City. It had a well-known retail location on Park Row, across from New York City Hall for 43 years, and is currently being renovated in preparation for a reopening at a later, unannounced date.[1][2] J&R stands for Joe and Rachelle Friedman, the founders, who established the company in 1971 after emigrating from Israel.[3][4] The heavily trafficked store had expanded from selling LPs to eventually encompassing J&R Music World and J&R Computer World, selling everything from Blu-ray Disc players to the latest electronic gadgets.[5]

J&R also had a location at Columbia University, which closed in the fall of 2002.[6] J&R later opened a J&R Express at the bottom level of Macy's Herald Square[7] in 2006,[8][9][10] and which was later closed in 2012.[11]

It currently operates a store under the name "J&R Express", which opened in the New York City flagship location of Century 21 on November 2014.


In 1971, 20-year-old newlyweds Joseph and Rachelle Friedman started J&R as a small consumer electronics store selling stereos and television sets in a 500 square foot store front at 33 Park Row[12][13]

After customers started to ask about obtaining music to play on their new stereos, J&R started to carry records and tapes.

A mail order division was started in 1974.[14] It was supported by a company owned warehouse located in Maspeth in Queens. Internet orders were later fulfilled from this location.

In 2006, J&R opened "J&R Express", a 3,500 square foot store within a store inside the Macy's Herald Square store. The store carried MP3 players, digital cameras, computers, CDs, DVDs and cell phones. The store also accepted the Macy’s credit card as payment. The store was quietly closed in 2012. Macy's previously tried to sell consumer electronics at the same location with other outside vendors twice in the previous decade.[15]

In 2013, J&R consolidated into two buildings, ceding storefronts to new tenants and transforming into a vertical store.[16] After a disappointing 2013 holiday season, J&R settled about $15 million in outstanding vendor claims in February 2014.[17]

On April 9, 2014, J&R closed its Park Row store, with a redevelopment plan to be announced.[18][19][20][21] Remaining merchandise were liquidated through a two-day auction in the middle of May 2014.[22][23]

The massive 171,000 sq ft company owned warehouse facility in Maspeth has been listed on the real estate market since October 2013.[24][25] In addition to left-over merchandise, warehouse and other processing equipment used by the company were auctioned off in late May and again in June.[26][27]

On April 25, 2014 J&R's web site stated that the owners plan to "rebuild this location into what we hope will be an unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca", also stating that they "look forward to sharing more details of these changes in the coming months." The page includes an artist's conception of what the location will look like in 2015.[28]

On August 12, 2014, J&R announced that they plan to open a 1,500 square foot "J&R Express" store inside the flagship location of the Century 21 Department Store in Manhattan by October 2014.[29][30] TWICE reported that the new store would have a format similar to that used by the store that was within Macy's Herald Square store and which closed in 2012.[31] Billboard Magazine reported that J&R plans to sell audio and video hardware, computers, and electronics, along with some music (including vinyl) and movies.[32] J&R Express at Century 21 opened in November 2014.[33]

Online sales[edit]

With the main J&R location just a block from the World Trade Center site, the company lost millions of dollars of electronic equipment due to the September 11, 2001 attacks.[6] But, the company's growing online sales helped sustain the company. J&R has an Amazon Marketplace agreement with Amazon.com to sell merchandise through that channel, in addition to its own online store.[34] By May 6, 2014, the firm had closed down its website[35][36] but continues to sell through Amazon.com and eBay. J&R appears to be liquidating its existing inventory via these marketplaces and does not show significant stock in major categories such as digital cameras. Both J&R storefronts on eBay and Amazon had ceased to offer any merchandise for sale by June 2014 after the series of liquidation auctions[26] had occurred at both the former Manhattan store and the Maspeth warehouse in Queens.


Since the summer of 2002, J&R had sponsored an annual music festival in City Hall Park, featuring R&B and other performers. In June 2007, Summerfest performers included Mario, Bobby Valentino, Tank, Carl Thomas, Collie Buddz, and Canadian Brass.[37][38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "J and R press release". Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  2. ^ JR.com: About J&R at the Wayback Machine (archived February 5, 2012)
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Joyce M. (September 4, 2003). "Small Businesses Struggle to Recover". Associated Press. 
  4. ^ Damien, Cave (August 28, 2004). "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Elephant?". New York Times. 
  5. ^ JR.com: J&R In The News at the Wayback Machine (archived May 2, 2013)
  6. ^ a b Iosifescu, Alice (February 11, 2003). "J&R Computer World Departs; Campus Location Is Still Empty". Columbia Spectator. CXXVII (16). p. 1. 
  7. ^ Macy*s - Our Stores - Events - Events[dead link]
  8. ^ Fleming, Kirsten (August 21, 2006). "J&R Store To Open In Macy’s Flagship". New York Post. 
  9. ^ Lazarowitz, Elizabeth (August 22, 2006). "J&R Joins Forces With Macy's". New York Daily News. 
  10. ^ Lazarowitz, Elizabeth (August 24, 2006). "A Grand Welcome For J&R". New York Daily News. 
  11. ^ O’Heir, Jeff (August 6, 2012). "J&R Closes J&R Express". Dealerscope. 
  12. ^ Luhby, Tami (February 3, 2001). "The Hits Keep Coming / J&R Music & Computer World thrives by satisfying its customers". Newsday. 
  13. ^ "J&R Electronics Inc. History". 
  14. ^ Dioguardi, Kara (June 15, 1996). "The Product's In The Mail: Started As A Sideline, J&R's Mail-Order Division Has Sent Sales Soaring". Billboard (magazine). p. JR-10. 
  15. ^ Wolf, Alan (August 6, 2012). "J&R Closes Macy's Express Shop, For Now". TWICE. 
  16. ^ Miller, Stuart (October 23, 2013). "J&R Alters the Blocklong Layout It's Known For". New York Times. 
  17. ^ Covert, James (April 11, 2014). "The music stops for J&R on Park Row". New York Post. 
  18. ^ Furman, Phyllis (April 9, 2014). "J&R shutting down New York City electronics store". New York Daily News. 
  19. ^ Swarns, Rachel L. (April 13, 2014). "Saying Farewell to a Business That Turned Into an Identity". New York Times. 
  20. ^ Southall, Ashley (April 10, 2014). "J & R Closes Manhattan Store for a Redesign". New York Times. 
  21. ^ Kangas, Chaz (April 11, 2014). "J&R Music Abruptly Closes Its Doors". Village Voice. 
  22. ^ Bashan, Yoni (May 13, 2014). "Inventory Going, Going, Gone at J&R in Manhattan: New York Institution Is Holding Public Auctions to Clear its Final Remaining Stock". Wall Street Journal. 
  23. ^ Wolf, Alan (May 12, 2014). "J&R Auctioning Off Inventory". TWICE. 
  24. ^ "Premier 1-Story Distribution Facility - 171,000 SQ FT; 58-75-59-21 Queens Midtown Expressway,Maspeth,NY 11378". Pinnacle Realty. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  25. ^ "59-21 Queens Midtown Expressway, Maspeth, NY, 11378 - Available for Sale". LoopNet. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  26. ^ a b "Public Auction Sale: HUGE QUANTITY WAREHOUSE & SHIPPING SUPPLIES - MASPETH, NY". AuctionZip. Archived from the original on 2014-06-21. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  27. ^ "Exec Office Furniture / Workstations / Equipment / Supplies; Monday, June 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM; 59-21 Queens Midtown Expressway, Maspeth, NY 11378". ASM Auctioneers Inc. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  28. ^ JR.com: Park Row Redevelopment at the Wayback Machine (archived April 25, 2014)
  29. ^ Covert, James (August 13, 2014). "Iconic J&R to re-open as boutique inside Century 21". New York Post. 
  30. ^ JR.com: J&R Forms Partnership with Century 21 Department Store at the Wayback Machine (archived August 24, 2014)
  31. ^ Wolf, Alan (August 13, 2014). "J&R Returning As Department Store Boutique: New York – They’re b-a-a-a-c-k.". TWICE. 
  32. ^ Christman, Ed (August 13, 2014). "J&R Music World to Re-Open in October". Billboard (magazine). 
  33. ^ Gurfein, Laura (November 3, 2014). "J&R, Century 21 Bonded Over Pioneering Post-9/11 Retail". Racked NY. 
  34. ^ Wolf, Alan (November 22, 2004). "J&R Adds Retail Space As Web Sales Rise". TWICE. 
  35. ^ Wolf, Alan (May 6, 2014). "J&R Shuts E-Commerce Site". TWICE. 
  36. ^ Briggs, Bill (May 7, 2014). "J&R Electronics unplugs its e-commerce site". Internet Retailer. 
  37. ^ "LIV WARFIELD TO PERFORM AT J&R SUMMERFEST: Singer to Take the Stage Along With Mario, Carl Thomas and More. J&R was located one block from the famous Pace University.". Eurweb.com. June 14, 2007. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Fairs, Fests, Etc...". New York Post. June 15, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. 

Coordinates: 40°42′41″N 74°00′27″W / 40.71139°N 74.00750°W / 40.71139; -74.00750