Is J&R Closing?

“Just heard that J&R will close very soon—probably by the end of the month,” said the email. “The plan is to put up an apartment building in its place.” The address in question is 1 Park Row.

Whispers about businesses shuttering (although I imagine J&R would continue online) make me itchy, to say the least, but this one came from the same source who said in April that J&R would be consolidating its stores—and a week later, it was done. J&R closing its store would be the end of an era, to be certain, but given the value of Manhattan real estate vs. the state of brick-and-mortar retail, it wouldn’t be a total surprise. (Why they wouldn’t just skip this “superstore” phase is anyone’s guess.) If you know anything about any of this, I’m at or 917-209-6473.

I didn’t bother asking J&R because the company hasn’t been responsive in the past, and this is the kind of thing that no one ever confirms.

UPDATE: “The music department is having a fire sale & closing,” commented jfrankp below. “Everything must go. CDs & vinyl, prob gone by now, were about a buck.”

UPDATE: “J&R is not closing,” commented the company’s president, Jason Friedman. “More exciting info to follow in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.”

UPDATE: Attention Focus employees! I allowed one comment about how wonderful your company is, but not the other four. Please stop.

UPDATE: I’ve deleted all the comments about whether Focus is great or terrible, and I’ve turned the comments off. This is clearly a vendetta; take it to Yelp, folks.

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  1. I reported on FiDi Fan Page yesterday that the northern 3 parcels on Park Row (bounded by Park Row, Beekman and Theatre Alley) is for sale and may reach a price of $700 per buildable sf. The “starchitecture” firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners has prepared a preliminary architectural design to entice buyers, though no images are provided in the NY Post article below. It is assumed that anything built here would be residential, continuing the housing boom in FiDi. Oddly, no mention of J&R is made at all though presumably they are the seller.

  2. The music department is having a fire sale & closing. Everything must go. CDs & vinyl, prob gone by now, were about a buck

    • Electronic stores lose money on DVDs, etc due to ridiculously low return. They have been mostly sold to bring in foot traffic for large ticket items. As more people turn to digital downloads, it is a waste of floor space to carry.

  3. You are correct Erik, J&R is not the seller for the northern parcels. But get a old of this…..

    I think this rendering is more to show the size of the potential building rather than a real design. I would hope they wouldn’t use glass.

    • I’ve been buying music at J & R since it was just LPs in the basement, in the 70s and the prices were in stiff competition with Bondy’s ( who closed more than a while back) and you had a great cut out section. Serious vinyl pervs got but on cut outs.
      I still appreciate the low prices on new releases as recently as two weeks ago when Dylan’s 30th anniv redo was there. Despite the fact there was no competition and you could charge list price.
      What ever happened to the long haired guy stocking the place while playing air guitar? He looked a little like Tom Petty. Maybe it was Tom Petty.

  4. Last week I dropped in to ask about a computer accessory that they ordinarily would have carried despite its being slightly uncommon (notebook cooling platform) and the clerk said “all that stuff’s on our site now”.

  5. J&R is not closing. More exciting info to follow in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

    – Jason Friedman

  6. Don’t buy the idea that they would sell 1 Park Row for a tower. That would be shooting themselves in the foot, since J&R owns the rental tower behind it. Putting up a tower would block the interior apartments of 15 Park Row, creating worthless space. They are already adding 2 more floors of apartments in the building as we speak.

    • some day i’ll figure this out, in the meantime I’m listening to Rotary Connection which I got at J & R way back when

  7. actually, they are not closing, just being SOLD to focus cameras, who are buying the name also!!!!

  8. Maybe they will build the ‘tower’ and return to the new retail space on the ground floor.