J&R Music Abruptly Closes Its Doors

Categories: Closings

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J&R as it appears on Google Maps.
Wednesday, Wall Street's mecca of music, J&R Music World, unceremoniously closed its doors. According to New York Daily News, employees were handed their pink slips that day. Yesterday, customers looking to purchase from the electronics outlet were met with locked doors and a message on store's website from owners Joe and Rachelle Friedman that it was shutting down to renovate and hopefully reemerge as an "unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca."

See also: I Worked For the Last Virgin Megastore in America

J&R in the early years.
First opening in 1971 as a basement record store, J&R perpetually expanded over the next 43 years, absorbing building after building until the location became a block-long sight to behold. The word "electronics giant" gets thrown around fairly liberally, but for an independent store to be as massive and diverse as J&R was, its status as a true juggernaut is undeniable.

There's a lot to be said about J&R's place in the hearts of New York music lovers. During the late '00s when the likes of Tower Records, Circuit City and the Virgin Megastore were closing, as well as beloved independents like FatBeats, there's was a belief that J&R would somehow always be around. One of the first stores to reopen following the September 11th attacks, a fact frequently mentioned in the majority of the store's coverage, J&R just gave off the vibe that it owned its corner of New York and would continue to do its thing as long as there was a New York City.

As sad as it is to see J&R go, the prevalent emotion right now is one of utter confusion. After we've seen J&R's one-time competitors drag out their closings over the course of months, diverting from that tradition of the slow goodbye into an abrupt "show's over" is baffling. Factoring in that this is happening just-before the middle of April and roughly a week-and-a-half before Record Store Day, even the timing of this sudden closing is puzzling.

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