The famous New York City electronics retailer has made a deal to open a boutique called “J&R Express” located within a Century 21 store that sits just blocks from J&R old downtown address.
The Century 21 location will house inside a compact version of the once four-story J&R Music and Computer World superstore within a 1,500 square foot boutique shop. After over 40 years of business J&R closed its doors at 15 Park Row back in April, to the dismay and shock of its many fans.
In Century 21’s 22 Cortland Street location, the miniaturized J&R is scheduled to open in October. This is only the first of many anticipated “J&R Express” shops to open in several of the department store locations.
At the same time, there is talk of J&R redeveloping its own Park Row property, which was the home to an array of electronics and records for near half a century. Sources say that the main J&R Park Row store’s redevelopment options consist of dividing the property into separate shops for several different electronic brands.
Shoppers will still find vinyl records to many consumers’ delight on the shelves in the new J&R Express, along with computer gadgets, portable electronics, CDs and DVD/Blue rays. The company says that the new Century 21 J&R boutique shops will also bring “special music events … including performances and in-store meet and greets.”
The letters in the electronic store’s name, J&R, are the initials of the co-founders, Joe and Rachelle Friedman. The couple started J&R Music World in 1971 and watched it flourish as the hot spot for music shopping in downtown Manhattan. J&R co-founder Rachelle Friedman said, “While we are redeveloping the block and planning the future of Park Row we wanted to answer the demand and outcry of support for J&R to remain a fixture of lower Manhattan.”
J&R and Century 21 were among the few major stores in downtown Manhattan that soon after the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks opened their doors. Unfortunately, J&R struggled in the aftermath with the harsh competitions of online retailers like Amazon.
Sources said that J&R settled about $15 million in vendor claims in February, after a regrettable holiday season.
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