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J&R Debuts Offspring: J&R Jr.


Venerable downtown Manhattan A/V
retailer J&R Music & Computer World has added a
new little one to the family.

J&R Jr., a new 15,000-square-foot “super boutique”
described as “a one-stop shopping and social destination
for kids and parents” celebrated its grand opening
at 1 Park Row, on the second floor of J&R Computer
World’s City Hall-facing storefront.

The new outlet, the brainchild of executive VP Jason
Friedman and his wife Danielle, boasts a highly
curated merchandise mix of parenting essentials
ranging from strollers and car seats, to toys, games,
furniture, musical instruments, craft and books, as
well as several dedicated walls and displays for
electronic toys, gaming consoles, kids’ media players,
tablets, A/V baby monitors and other small electronics
and housewares.

Interactive displays are numerous, as are play areas
and activity stations for kids of all ages.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony attracted a host of local
New York politicians and press, and included
comments by J&R co-founder (and Jason’s mother)
Rachelle Friedman, Manhattan Borough president
Scott Stringer, Manhattan Councilwoman Margaret
Chin, Jason and others.

The opening ceremony followed a soft opening over
the weekend of Feb. 11-12 that included musical performances
by popular childrens’ entertainers such as
Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes, among others.

A proclamation from New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg was read aloud by Friedman, declaring Feb. 13 “J&R Jr. Day” in New York City.
The timing of the Monday morning
opening was not accidental, as International
Toy Fair kicked off simultaneously
in the city. A reception for Toy
Fair attendees was held at the new
store that evening.

Freidman, who launched and ran
J&R’s e-commerce site for his parents,
said the concept for the store came to
him when his first child was born a few
years ago, and he found himself and
his wife “completely overwhelmed by
the big-box baby-supply chains.” He
added that all the merchandising for
the store was done by him and his wife,
along with his newly formed merchandising

“We approached it as parents first,”
he said. “We were very selective with
our mix and wanted to keep it simple,
interactive and fun from a shopping
standpoint. We knew which products
worked for us and wanted to make it
easy for new parents.”

The name, J&R Jr., came naturally,
as it has been Jason’s nickname for as
long as he’s worked for his parents.

The newest expansion of J&R’s
string of storefronts, which takes up an
entire city block in the shadow of the
site of the former World Trade Center
complex, serves a rapidly growing
residential area of Manhattan. Friedman
cited Downtown Alliance statistics
illustrating that residency has more
than doubled in lower Manhattan since
9/11, and continues to grow faster than
any other region of New York City.

Said Friedman: “When you step
through the doors of J&R Jr. you will
be entering a kids zone — a judgementfree
world where you can escape the
busy world outside, and once more become
a kid again … whether its finding
the missing piece to a puzzle, erecting
a looming tower of blocks, serving
tea to the princess, or slaying a virtual
fire-breathing dragon. Everyone will be
welcomed here, and we will be ready
to assist you in finding that elusive
baby gift or the latest essentials for
child-proofing your home.”