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FateReopened as "J&R Express" and later closed
Founded1971; 48 years ago (1971)
  • Joseph Friedman
  • Rachelle Friedman
DefunctApril 9, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-04-09)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York
Number of locations
2 (April 2014; at time of main store closing)
ProductsRetail - Electronics
Websitewww.jr.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

J&R was 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.[1] J&R stands for the founders Joe and Rachelle Friedman who established the company in 1971 after emigrating separately from Israel as young children.[2][3] 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.[4]

J&R also had a location at Columbia University, which closed in the fall of 2002.[5] J&R later opened a J&R Express at the bottom level of Macy's Herald Square[6] in 2006,[7][8][9] and which was later closed in 2012.[10]

The company briefly operated a store under the name "J&R Express", which opened in the New York City flagship location of Century 21 in November 2014. Sometime between May and June 2016, J&R ceased their business relationship with Century with J&R Express being last recorded on the Century 21 website in an Internet Archive snapshot of March 14[11] and in the snapshot of the J&R website of May 5.[12] By June 2, all mentions of J&R Express had been removed from both websites.[13][14]

According to the Internet Archive, the jr.com website was taken down sometime between January 5[15] and January 17, 2017, when Network Solutions regained control of the website for resale.[16]


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[17][18] The couple saw it as a side project, selling TVs and stereos out of a 500 square foot store, as Rachelle studied at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn.[19]

After customers started to ask about obtaining music to play on their new stereos, J&R started to carry records and tapes. Computers, digital accessories and other electronics products followed. As it grew, J&R expanded into a series of adjacent storefronts on Park Row, so that the store stretched for a nearly a full block by the mid-1990's, with each storefront providing entry to a different department. The large overall store was increasingly successful and crowded with customers.

A mail order division was started in 1974.[20] 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.[21]

In 2013, J&R consolidated into two buildings, ceding storefronts to new tenants and transforming into a vertical store.[22] After a disappointing 2013 holiday season, J&R settled about $15 million in outstanding vendor claims in February 2014.[23]

On April 9, 2014, J&R closed its Park Row store, with a redevelopment plan to be announced.[24][25][26][27] Remaining merchandise were liquidated through a two-day auction in the middle of May 2014.[28][29]

The 171,000 sq ft company owned warehouse facility in Maspeth was listed on the real estate market beginning in October 2013.[30][31] 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.[32][33]

On April 25, 2014, J&R's web site stated that the owners planned to "rebuild this location into what we hope will be an unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca", also stating that they "look[ed] forward to sharing more details of these changes in the coming months." The page included an artist's conception of what the location would look like.[34]

On August 12, 2014, J&R announced that they planned 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.[35][36] Twice magazine 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.[37] Billboard Magazine reported that J&R planned to sell audio and video hardware, computers, and electronics, along with some music (including vinyl) and movies.[38] J&R Express at Century 21 opened in November 2014.[39] This too closed sometime during May 2016.

Meanwhile, some of the buildings on Park Row that formerly housed J&R were demolished, starting in January 2016.[40] Other buildings, which were leased, were being redeveloped primarily for residential housing.[41][42] In April 2016, it was reported in the New York real estate press that J&R filed for a building permit to build a 53 story residential building on the demolished site.[43] By late 2018, the former Park Row site had been replaced by a 50-story, 110-unit, luxury condo building with residential unit prices ranging from $1.7 million for one-bedrooms to about $7 million for four-bedrooms, or approximately $2,500 per foot ($8,200/m),[44][45] called 25 Park Row.[46]

In January 2017 the jr.com website was taken down, citing that the company would not come back.[citation needed] However, in February 2017, the J&R website at jandr.com stated "Stay tuned for exciting updates...".

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.[5] 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.[47] By May 6, 2014, the firm had closed down its website[48][49] but continued to sell through Amazon.com and eBay. J&R appeared to be liquidating its existing inventory via these marketplaces and did 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[32] 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.[50][51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "JR.com: About J&R". Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Joyce M. (September 4, 2003). "Small Businesses Struggle to Recover". Associated Press.
  3. ^ Damien, Cave (August 28, 2004). "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Elephant?". New York Times.
  4. ^ "JR.com: J&R In The News". Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 2, 2013.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  5. ^ a b Iosifescu, Alice (February 11, 2003). "J&R Computer World Departs; Campus Location Is Still Empty". Columbia Spectator. CXXVII (16). p. 1.
  6. ^ Macy*s - Our Stores - Events - Events Archived May 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Fleming, Kirsten (August 21, 2006). "J&R Store To Open In Macy's Flagship". New York Post.
  8. ^ Lazarowitz, Elizabeth (August 22, 2006). "J&R Joins Forces With Macy's". New York Daily News.
  9. ^ Lazarowitz, Elizabeth (August 24, 2006). "A Grand Welcome For J&R". New York Daily News.
  10. ^ O’Heir, Jeff (August 6, 2012). "J&R Closes J&R Express". Dealerscope.
  11. ^ "Tech". Century 21. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  12. ^ "J&R Express Now at Century 21". J&R. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  13. ^ "Tech". Century 21. Archived from the original on June 13, 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  14. ^ "Park Row Redevelopment". J&R. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  15. ^ "Park Row Redevelopment". J&R. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "Domain Available". Network Solutions. Archived from the original on January 17, 2017.
  17. ^ Luhby, Tami (February 3, 2001). "The Hits Keep Coming / J&R Music & Computer World thrives by satisfying its customers". Newsday.
  18. ^ "J&R Electronics Inc. History".
  19. ^ Miller, Stuart (October 23, 2013). "J&R Alters the Blocklong Layout It's Known For". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  20. ^ 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. p. JR-10.
  21. ^ Wolf, Alan (August 6, 2012). "J&R Closes Macy's Express Shop, For Now". Twice.
  22. ^ Miller, Stuart (October 23, 2013). "J&R Alters the Blocklong Layout It's Known For". New York Times.
  23. ^ Covert, James (April 11, 2014). "The music stops for J&R on Park Row". New York Post.
  24. ^ Furman, Phyllis (April 9, 2014). "J&R shutting down New York City electronics store". New York Daily News.
  25. ^ Swarns, Rachel L. (April 13, 2014). "Saying Farewell to a Business That Turned Into an Identity". New York Times.
  26. ^ Southall, Ashley (April 10, 2014). "J & R Closes Manhattan Store for a Redesign". New York Times.
  27. ^ Kangas, Chaz (April 11, 2014). "J&R Music Abruptly Closes Its Doors". Village Voice.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Wolf, Alan (May 12, 2014). "J&R Auctioning Off Inventory". Twice.
  30. ^ "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 October 30, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  31. ^ "59-21 Queens Midtown Expressway, Maspeth, NY, 11378 - Available for Sale". LoopNet. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  32. ^ a b "Public Auction Sale: HUGE QUANTITY WAREHOUSE & SHIPPING SUPPLIES - MASPETH, NY". AuctionZip. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  33. ^ "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 June 22, 2014.
  34. ^ "JR.com: Park Row Redevelopment". Archived from the original on April 25, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2015.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  35. ^ Covert, James (August 13, 2014). "Iconic J&R to re-open as boutique inside Century 21". New York Post.
  36. ^ "JR.com: J&R Forms Partnership with Century 21 Department Store". Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2015.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  37. ^ Wolf, Alan (August 13, 2014). "J&R Returning As Department Store Boutique: New York – They're b-a-a-a-c-k". Twice.
  38. ^ Christman, Ed (August 13, 2014). "J&R Music World to Re-Open in October". Billboard.
  39. ^ Gurfein, Laura (November 3, 2014). "J&R, Century 21 Bonded Over Pioneering Post-9/11 Retail". Racked NY.
  40. ^ Brenzel, Kathryn (January 26, 2016). "L+M to demolish four retail buildings on Park Row: The FiDi site at 23-33 Park Row has more than 200,000 buildable sf". The Real Deal.
  41. ^ Malesevic, Dusica Sue (July 2, 2015). "Block that housed J & R readies for next phase". Downtown Express.
  42. ^ "Double Demolition on Park Row". Tribeca Citizen. June 15, 2015.
  43. ^ Plagianos, Irene (April 18, 2016). "53-Story Tower Planned for Site of Former J&R Building". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016.
  44. ^ Warerkar, Tanay (October 29, 2018). "J&R-replacing Financial District skyscraper will have condos from $1.7M New: The 50-story skyscraper is set to top out in the next couple of days and will launch sales this fall". Curbed NY.
  45. ^ Hughes, C.J. (October 29, 2018). "A Former Downtown Music Mecca Becomes Condos: The Park Row site, a piece of the J&R Music and Computer World empire, is being developed into a luxury tower". New York Times.
  46. ^ "25 Park Row".
  47. ^ Wolf, Alan (November 22, 2004). "J&R Adds Retail Space As Web Sales Rise". TWICE.
  48. ^ Wolf, Alan (May 6, 2014). "J&R Shuts E-Commerce Site". TWICE.
  49. ^ Briggs, Bill (May 7, 2014). "J&R Electronics unplugs its e-commerce site". Internet Retailer.
  50. ^ "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. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  51. ^ "Fairs, Fests, Etc..." New York Post. June 15, 2007. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007.

External links[edit]

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