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There’s a new baby boom in Lower Manhattan and downtown retail icon J&R Music and Computer World in downtown Manhattan (Park Row (across from City Hall), 212-238-9000; www.jr.com) is giving birth to a new store just to serve this growing population: J&R Jr. – where NYC kids grow.
With a grand opening scheduled for the weekend of February 11-13, J&R Jr. will be a 15,000-square-foot, one-stop shopping and social destination for the community, families and kids at 1 Park Row, co-located with other J&R stores along Park Row and across from New York City Hall.
This new venture is a natural progression for a business that has historically appealed to sophisticated consumers seeking electronic “toys” and gadgets to now reach and serve the burgeoning market of new families who have moved into Lower Manhattan. According to New York City Department of Health statistics, there were more births in 2010 within the boundaries of Lower Manhattan’s Community Board 1 than any other district in Manhattan.
In addition to an active on-line site, J&R Jr. will offer a living community experience. According to Jason Friedman, founder of J&R Jr.:
“As long standing members of this community, we wanted to create an inviting space for residents to gather, share experiences and gain valuable parenting and consumer information.
“Along with a large selection, exclusives and knowledgeable salespeople, J&R Jr. will offer added value through its intimate classes and workshops -- for the parent and for the child. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcomed and part of the Downtown family that J&R has been so fortunate to be a member of for the last 40 years.”
Catering to an initial age range of 0-9 years, J&R Jr. will carry hundreds of items. A short list includes: strollers; high chairs; car seats; activity centers; bags; educational toys; feeding, potty, and safety accessories; children's music/movies/games; kid-sized musical instruments; kids’ electronics-- such as baby monitors, humidifiers, kids’ cameras, noise limiting headphones, kid-friendly laptops, and iPads, Nanos as well as video games for the bigger kids. Among the brands to be featured are: Maclaren, Phil & Ted's, Quinny, Baby Born, Britax, Maxi-Cosi, 4Moms, Sophie the Giraffe, Edushape, Alex, Melissa & Doug, Skip Hop, Faber Castell, B. Toys, Lazoo, Born Free, Lansinoh, Boon, OXO, Roland and much more.
The store was conceived by J&R executive vice president Jason Friedman. Jason, the son of Joe and Rachelle Friedman, the original “J” and “R”, grew up in the music world of his parents celebrated store where his nickname was “J&R Jr.” Now a family man himself, he is paving the way for the next generation with a store that meets their needs. Jason and his wife, a pediatrician, live in Manhattan with their two children. Their personal quest for the best for their own young family literally became a labor of love, resulting in the birthing of the super boutique for kids.
“At J&R Jr., we have eliminated all the guesswork and handpicked the best gear so that new and seasoned parents alike can make the most informed buying decisions,” Jason said.
J&R Jr. will even feature a stroller-track that presents “real-life” surfaces for a “vehicle” test drive. The custom-built track will have different surfaces including cobblestone (which is prevalent in the Lower Manhattan historic district), grass and shag carpeting so parents can see how it handles in various situations.
J&R Jr. will include a state-of-the-art events space featuring weekly free performances by kids’ acts such as “Rockin’ with Andy” as well as parenting seminars and luncheons on a variety of topics from to birthing to school admissions, photography tips and more. Five days a week, the events space will be run by MoonSoup, a well-known early child development programming provider who will be offering arts & crafts workshops, hands-on music lessons, yoga classes and the like.
In talking about his vision for J&R Jr., Jason said: “When you step through the doors of J&R Jr., you will be entering a kids zone -- a judgment free world where you can escape the busy world outside, and once more, become a kid again... whether it's 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.”
A gala grand weekend opening will take place from February 11-12, during which J&R Jr. will host
many special acts such as:
• Laurie Berkner
• Dan Zanes
• The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
• Little Maestros
• The Amazing Max
• A Princess Visit
In addition a special ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Monday, February 13. For more information on J&R Jr. check out our website at: www.JR.com/jr.
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