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New York Landmark J&R Music Shuts Down

...revenues of $400 million and operated ten storefronts in Manhattan.

Several years ago, J&R Music began stocking a limited selection of musical instruments, including Roland digital pianos, Gibson guitars, and a number of other lines. In a 2010 interview, Rachelle Friedman said of instruments, “they complement our existing consumer electronics inventory and appeal to a lot of our customers.”

In a letter to employees and vendors, the Friedmans said they were planning to re-develop their lower Manhattan real-estate into “an unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca.” They are reportedly in contact with a number of real estate developers.

J&R, which was located just blocks away from the World Trade Center, was one of the first retailers in lower Manhattan to re-open after the 9/11 attacks. In recent years however, the store was adversely affected by declines in the consumer electronics business and by intensified online competition. Some have speculated that, given the strength of the Manhattan real estate market, the Friedmans concluded that it made more sense to re-develop their property rather than continue to operate a store.

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