News and Notes: J&R Express to Open in the Basement of Century 21

JandR logo crop
The next chapter in the saga of J&R has been announced.  The downtown music and computer retailer which closed its website and Park Row store back in April will be opening a J&R Express location in the basement of the downtown location of Century 21, another iconic New York City retailer, sometime in the next several months.

This new location will offer portable electronics, computer gadgets, music in CD and LP form and movies.  In addition, the J&R Express location will also offer in store music performances.  From 2006 through 2012 J&R ran what sounds like a similar operation in Macy’s Herald Square location.

In the meantime, the main location of J&R remains shuttered.  According to J&R, plans for the redevelopment of  of that location are being made.

One Response to News and Notes: J&R Express to Open in the Basement of Century 21

  1. Djb says:

    Having worked at J&R reestablishing their hi-end audio/club equipment and enhancement electronic sales, I am very familiar with there decline.

    I re-installed their equipment demo rooms making the 3rd room the hi-end gurus of the industry meet and greet. I also setup their projection demo screen to play all artist recent video promo releases in store. Another first. All a customer had to do was been in the 3rd audio room and any questions about audio/video/equipment specs would be answered.

    But here is why the decline. J&R was always the leader in the audio retailing industry. That’s why I went to work for them. I tried with no success to get them to integrate audio/video and then the upcoming computers into a system to be displayed as a working demo model like the video promo screen. They shot that idea down. Instead they hired a non-innovative manager with his cookie box mentality and the innovation left.

    I moved on to CompUsa the up and coming computer retailer and created the first inter-active networking setup that customer’s could see a buy the correct parts to setup in their home or office.

    Then J&R went to their store in a store concept and went to Macy’s.
    Nice add-on concept but cookie box mentality. That closed after a few years.

    I moved on to Best Buy. Got into social robotics. Best Buy just installed the first robot in their SOHO store this year. Looks like they get it. Innovative.

    Meanwhile, J&R is raving about their store within a store in Century 21. That concept has been failing. Ask Microsoft and a few other retailers that have tried it.

    But the story has to have an ending and the writing seems to be on the wall. A J&R bag inside of a CENTURY 21 BAG. Looks like another Tower Records, Circuit City, CompUsa ending to a great retail electronics retailer.

    I will miss J&R. Somehow looking at Mic Jagger and the boys at Century 21 isn’t my idea of New, Exciting or Innovative.


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