The Wiz (store)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|The 1998-2003 Wiz logo.|
2004 (online retailer owned by P.C. Richard)
|Defunct||2003 (retail stores only)|
|Headquarters||Carteret, New Jersey|
|Products||Computers, televisions, VCRs, and DVD players|
|Parent||Cablevision (electronics chain)
P.C. Richard & Son (online retailer)
|Slogan||Nobody Beats the Wiz|
The chain was founded by four brothers, Douglas, Lawrence, Marvin, and Stephan Jemal, in New York City in 1977. Later, it officially changed its name to its well-known advertising slogan, "Nobody Beats The Wiz". During the early-to-mid 1990s "Nobody Beats The Wiz" was a major sponsor for all local NY sports franchises, including the Yankees, Knicks, Mets, New Jersey Nets, Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Islanders, and had a significant television advertising presence during local sports events. It also sponsored teams outside the NY area such as the Flyers and Canadiens.
In 1998, after having expanded significantly, the chain filed for bankruptcy and was purchased by Cablevision for $80 million. Cablevision eventually dropped the "Nobody Beats the Wiz" slogan. At its peak, the firm's revenues were $1.4 billion, with 2000 employees, operating 94 stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts. It also operated music-only stores in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area.
The chain closed permanently in 2003. A Cablevision press release from February 16, 2003 stated: "Continuing to operate the stores is no longer a viable option for Cablevision as business conditions at the retailer eroded due to a weakened retail economy and other factors." Once the chain closed, one of its founders, Marvin Jemal, opened a new electronics chain, The Zone, in a number of former Wiz locations. The new chain, which heavily mentioned that it was from the founder of The Wiz, went out of business less than two years later.