Another key aspect is superior—and non-predatory—customer service. "Our salespeople do work on commission, but they put the customer first," said Friedman. "They'll do things like make a follow-up phone call after a big purchase to see if everything works okay." And in some cases, it's what the salesperson doesn't do that's just as important. "Our salespeople are not allowed to push warranties," said Friedman. "We tell them, 'Offer it, of course, but don't push it.' Yes, [warranties] are helpful to us in terms of margins, but you don't want to turn customers off."
This small business started by a young couple remains a mom-and-pop business today. Friedman says there is low employee turnover at the store; some employees of the company have been serving J&R customers for decades. "This is a family-owned business and we treat it like a family-owned business," said Friedman. "We give our employees respect; we treat them like fellow human beings, like part of the family."
During the go-go stock market of the '90s, there were expectations that J&R would finally surrender its roots and go public with an IPO.